The most days available for field work in over a month — and the second most for the year — sent Iowa farmers into their fields last week to plant their remaining corn and soybean crops.
There was an average of 4.3 days suitable for fieldwork statewide, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture‘s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Iowa’s corn crop was 96 percent planted, marking the first year since 1993 that any corn remained to be planted this late in the year. Ninety-three percent of the corn crop has emerged — normally all corn would have come up by now.
East Central Iowa farmers have planted 100 percent of their corn with 98 percent emergence. North central Iowa corn producers have planted the least — 88 percent of their crop — with 87 percent emergence.
Corn condition showed a very slight improvement with 10 percent rated excellent, 44 percent good, 32 percent fair, 11 percent poor and 3 percent very poor.
Through Sunday, 90 percent of the soybean crop was planted, an increase of 13 percent from last week, but still below the normal 98 percent. Seventy-five percent of the soybean crop has emerged, still well behind the five-year average of 94 percent.
Nine percent of the soybean crop was rated excellent, 44 percent good, 35 percent fair, 9 percent poor and 3 percent very poor.
Topsoil moisture levels were rated 40 percent surplus, 59 percent adequate, 1 percent short and zero percent very
short. Subsoil moisture levels were rated 34 percent surplus, 65 percent adequate, 1 percent short and zero percent very short.
Farmers took advantage of the dry weather to make good progress harvesting alfalfa. The first cutting of alfalfa hay increased over 40 percent from last week to 72 percent complete, still behind the five-year average of 77 percent.
Hay condition was rated 1 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 27 percent fair, 52 percent good and 15 percent excellent.