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.
"Corn planting is just starting to get underway and will likely accelerate rapidly if temperatures continue to increase," Northey said. "Much of the state remains fairly dry and will need more moisture for the growing season."
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture
Rain and cool temperatures early in the week ending April 20, 2014, continued to slow fieldwork according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Average temperatures were below normal for the week, but at the end of the week temperatures started to rise. Statewide there were 3.2 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included applying fertilizer, anhydrous and herbicides, seeding, and disking.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 6 percent very short, 22 percent short, 65 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 16 percent very short, 39 percent short, 44 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Northwest Iowa was the driest with 18 percent of topsoil reported in very short condition.
Fifty-one percent of oats have been planted, 29 percentage points ahead of last year but 17 percentage points behind average. Seven percent of oats had emerged, ahead of last year's 3 percent, but 17 percentage points behind the five-year average. A few farmers reported corn being planted.
Pasture condition rated 11 percent very poor, 23 percent poor, 48 percent fair, 18 percent good and 0 percent excellent. Livestock conditions were reported as good, but most cattle have not yet been moved onto pastures.