Iowa farmers made significant progress planting their corn and soybean crops during the week that ended on Sunday.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that 71 percent of Iowa’s corn acreage had been planted, an increase of 56 percent from last week. While significant progress was made, corn planting 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 58 percent in a normal year, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
In east central Iowa, 80 percent of the corn crop has been planted and 16 percent of the crop has emerged.
Soybean planting was 16 percent complete, significantly behind last year’s 78 percent and the five-year average of 59 percent. One percent of the soybean crop has emerged.
Twenty-one percent of the soybean crop has been planted in east central Iowa, and 1 percent of the crop has emerged.
“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 this year,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said. “Hopefully dryer weather will return to allow farmers to finish getting crops in the ground.”
Oat planting was nearly complete at 98 percent and 71 percent of the crop has emerged. Oat condition was rated zero percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 30 percent fair, 61 percent good and 6 percent excellent.
Topsoil moisture levels were rated 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.
In northwest Iowa, subsoil moisture was still rated 30 percent short despite the rainfall in recent days and weeks.
The USDA said 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 with 400 tons sold at last week’s auction at Dyersville Sales. Top was $332.50 per ton on large square bales and $302.50 per ton on indoor round bales.
At the Fort Atkinson Hay Auction, the high was choice round bales at $400 per ton, with more than 40 percent of the loads over $300 per ton.