For the first time this spring, farmers were able to get into the fields every day last week and the U.S.D.A. crop report says they planted nine-million acres of corn and soybeans. But Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says there’s still a lot of work to be done to finish the planting season.
“Hopefully if we can get some weather at the end of this week and through the weekend , farmers will work on holidays, if the weather’s fit, maybe by next week we can be mostly wrapped up on corn production and have a good dent in the soybean production,” Northey says.
The crop report out Monday showed 71-percent of the corn has been planted, which is behind the five-year average of 92-percent. Only 16-percent of the beans have been planted. Northey is still optimistic for the growing season despite the slow start.
“We certainly caught up on planting , now again we don’t get those days back, as far as heat and growing the crop, and we had some very cold weather and our early planted crop is behind,” Northey says. On the plus side, Northey says soil moisture levels in all but the extreme northwest counties have improved and are more than 90 percent adequate or surplus.
Farmers are projected to plant 23 million acres of corn and soybeans this year.