Some farmers were able to get the planters rolling last week. The U.S.D.A.’s weekly crop report shows farmers used some warmer weather to get into the fields and 7 percent of the corn crop is now planted.
The report says the planting is 4 days ahead of normal compared to last year — but right at what the state has seen in the 5-year average.
Nearly one-third of the State’s expected oat crop was planted during the week, third highest percentage seeded for the 3rd week of April in 20 years. Seventy-four percent of the oat crop has been planted, over 2 weeks ahead of last year, and one week ahead of the average. Some areas are seeing faster planting of corn than others.
Iowa State University extension agronomist Angie Reik-Hinz monitors 9 counties from Hamilton to Cerro Gordo. “Right around Webster City, Fort Dodge, Stanhope, Stratford area, we’re seeing a lot of corn in the ground. Maybe upwards of thirty to forty percent,” Reik-Hinz says. The temperature has kept some parts of the state from keeping up early on. “As we move a little further east, it’s a little bit less corn in the ground, and as we go north it significantly tapers off. It’s been a lot colder and wetter up north.”
Another ISU agronomist, Mark Licht in Ames, has also heard a lot of different results when it comes to planting progress. “Reports of farmers who are either 100-percent done, 50-percent done or maybe, three-four-five percent,” Licht says. He also has found central Iowa saw the most progress. “From where I’m getting my reports, it seems like really the area west of Ames — kind of between Ames and Carroll — was where a lot of the progress was made before the rains finally came on Saturday,” according to Licht”
The U.S.D.A. crop report says north-central and west-central Iowa have the highest soil moisture reserves, with ninety-to-one-hundred-percent adequate to surplus moisture.