DES MOINES – 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.
“With just sporadic rainfall last week crop planting proceeded quickly and now both corn and soybean planting progress is slightly ahead of the five year average,” Northey said. “After the extremely late planting last year farmers are excited to get the crop in the ground in a more timely manner.”
The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship’s website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov
Warm temperatures and below normal precipitation allowed soybean planting and crop progress to advance rapidly during the week ending May 25, 2014, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork. Other activities for the week included spraying, herbicide application, and some rotary hoeing to help crusted fields.
Topsoil moistures decreased slightly with the below normal rainfall. Topsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 14 percent short, 77 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 7 percent very short, 25 percent short, 63 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus. Northwest Iowa was the driest with over 40 percent of topsoil and 60 percent of subsoil in very short to short condition.
For the first time this season, both corn and soybean acreage planted were above the five year average. Ninety-six percent of the expected corn acreage was planted, 13 percentage points ahead of last year and 1 percentage point more than average. Corn emergence reached 67 percent, 6 days in front of last year but 4 days behind normal. Soybean planting progress doubled this week to 80 percent complete, 5 percentage points above average. Ninety-three percent of the oat acreage had emerged, ahead of last year’s 89 percent, but 3 percentage points behind average. Oat condition rated 0 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 41 percent fair, 49 percent good, and 8 percent excellent.
The first cutting of alfalfa hay was 7 percent complete, ahead of last year’s 0 percent but 12 points less than average. Hay condition was rated 0 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 49 percent good, and 14 percent excellent. Pasture condition rated 5 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 42 percent good and 12 percent excellent. Livestock conditions were reported as favorable.