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.
"Farmers took full advantage of the good weather last week and in the five days that were suitable for fieldwork were able to plant more than 9 million acres of the 23 million acres of our state that will be devoted to corn and soybeans again this year," Northey said. "Planting progress remains behind the five year average and hopefully dryer weather will return to allow farmers to finish getting crops in the ground."
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture
Iowa farmers made significant progress planting crops during the week ending May 19, 2013 according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. The best weather of year for fieldwork allowed producers to rapidly advance their planting pace, especially for corn. The good weather held in most areas till late in the week, when severe storms were seen across much of Iowa. There was an average of 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week, over twice the days suitable for fieldwork in any previous week this year.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 3 percent short, 71 percent adequate and 26 percent surplus. Statewide, subsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 13 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus, although ratings in Northwest Iowa still show nearly 30 percent in the short to very short categories.
By the end of the week, 71 percent of Iowa's corn acreage had been planted, an increase of 56 percentage points from last week. Even though farmers planted at a near record pace, progress still lags behind last year's 97 percent and the five-year average of 92 percent. Thirteen percent of the corn crop has emerged, well behind last year's 77 percent and the normal of 58 percent. Soybean planting was 16 percent complete, behind last year's 78 percent and the five-year average of 59 percent. One percent of the soybean crop has emerged. Oat planting, at 98 percent, was nearly complete and 71 percent of the crop has emerged. Oat condition was rated 0 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 30 percent fair, 61 percent good and 6 percent excellent.
Pasture and range conditions continued to show improvement and were rated 3 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 45 percent good and 9 percent excellent. Hay supplies were still tight across Iowa.