Written by Theresa Rose
Tuesday, 26 April 2011
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today 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. “It has been a real challenge getting the crop in the ground this year due to the weather and as a result farmers are well behind where they normally are at this point,” Northey said. “With only three percent of the corn crop planted this is on par with the slowest pace for corn planting in the last ten years.” The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA’s site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia.
Field work was virtually suspended through the week due to wet and cold conditions. Farmers are anxious to begin planting in earnest, while a few producers are concerned about having to re-plant fields if corn does not germinate and develop. Planters are ready to roll when it’s dry enough. There were 0.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the past week. Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 62 percent adequate, and 38 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 71 percent adequate, and 28 percent surplus. Three percent of Iowa’s corn acreage has been planted compared with 61 percent at this time last year and the five-year average of 28 percent. Oat acreage planted was 72 percent complete, behind last year’s 93 percent but slightly ahead of the average of 70 percent. Twenty-five percent of the oat acreage has emerged, equal to the five-year average but trailing last year’s 55 percent. Pasture and range condition rated 3 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 39 percent fair, 42 percent good, and 5 percent excellent. With the cool, wet conditions pastures have been slow to green up. Cold, damp weather has been unfavorable for calving.