DES MOINES - Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.
"The wet conditions have continued to keep many farmers out of the fields and the result is only 15 percent of the corn crop has been planted, which remains well behind the five-year average," Northey said. "Hopefully it will remain dry this week and farmers will be able to make significant progress. I encourage everyone to stay safe on the farm and on rural roadways during this extremely busy time in agriculture."
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture
Wet conditions during the week ending May 12, 2013 continued to hinder planting progress in Iowa, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Moisture received on Wednesday and Thursday brought a halt to field activities. In areas of the state that received less moisture, some fields dried enough for farmers to resume fieldwork by the end of the week. There was an average of 1.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week. Fieldwork included planting, tilling, and application of fertilizers and herbicides.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 1 percent very short, 4 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 27 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 4 percent very short, 20 percent short and 63 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus.
Fifteen percent of Iowa's corn acreage has been planted compared with 86 percent at this time last year and the five-year average of 79 percent. This is the first year since 1993 that less than 20 percent of corn acres were planted by May 12th. Soybean planting was 1 percent compete, well behind last year's 34 percent and the five-year average of 30 percent. This is the latest start to soybean planting since 1995. Oat planting was 81 percent complete; at this time last year oat planting was complete. Forty-five percent of oat acreage has emerged, well behind last year's 94 percent and the five-year average of 77 percent.
Pasture and range condition rated 10 percent very poor, 17 percent poor, 37 percent fair and 31 percent good and 5 percent excellent.
PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY
By Harry Hillaker
& Land Stewardship
The past reporting week began with temperatures slightly above normal from Monday (6th) through Thursday (9th) but with sharply colder weather for the weekend. Temperatures climbed to 80 degrees at a few eastern Iowa locations on Tuesday and to 81 degrees at Cresco, Dubuque Lock #11 and Keokuk on Wednesday. However, a freeze was reported over much of Iowa on Sunday (12th) morning with 23 degree minimums reported at Battle Creek, Sibley and Spencer. Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 2.1 degrees below normal. Meanwhile, dry weather prevailed over most of the state on Monday and Tuesday with a period of rain beginning in western Iowa Tuesday night and finally exiting eastern areas Friday morning. Heaviest rains fell Wednesday night with localized amounts of two inches in a narrow band from Council Bluffs to Ames. Weekly rain totals varied from only 0.02 inches at Hamburg in far southwest Iowa to 2.58 inches near Jamaica in Guthrie County. The statewide average precipitation was 0.72 inches while normal for the week is 1.00 inches.