Bill Northey

Bill Northey

The latest U.S.D.A. crop report shows cold and wet weather slowed down field work last week following a near-record for corn planting the week before.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says some work got done despite the conditions. “It was kind of a tough week, folks had to dodge some showers, there was a little bit of time. Some areas didn’t get much moisture and were able to go harder than other areas,” Northey says. “But in general, we still got another 20-percent or 15-percent in the ground, almost 20-percent of the soybeans in the ground.”

The report says 83-percent of the corn crop has been planted, approximately one week ahead of both last year and 5-year average. Northwest Iowa was above the average with 96- percent of the corn in the ground, while southwest Iowa had only 64-percent completed. “You’ve got a lot of folks in some areas that are finished, and they’ve moved on to soybeans. And as soon as they get dry weather they’re going to hit the soybeans hard and I think we’ll see that number pop as well,” Northey says.

Around 29-percent of the corn has already emerged, which is just over one week ahead of last year. “Some of that early-planted kind of mid-April corn is up and everything that I’ve heard is it’s looking good — even though that had to go through some cold weather after it was planted. So, I think folks are optimistic and the growing season is off to a good start,” according to Northey.

Northey farms near Spirit Lake and has been trying to get his planting completed while handling his duties as Ag Secretary. He says he was home a couple of weekends ago and got the corn in, but hasn’t gotten the beans planted yet. “Hopefully that will happen in the next week or two,” Northey says. Across the state, the U.S.D.A. crop report shows 30-percent of the soybeans are in the ground, which is five days ahead of 2014, and three days ahead of the average.