Cold, wet weather delayed farmers from getting into the fields this spring, but Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig, says they have been quickly working to catch up.

“We had a significant week of progress last week on corn and soybean planting. You know, farmers are having to dodge some rain clouds this week but I think we will once again see a significant progress change in the  planting progress,” Niag says. “And of course, it’s great to see the sunshine because once you get the seed in the ground, of course you want it to germinate and get up and we think conditions that are conducive to that.”

You may’ve seen lights in the fields late into the night this past week as farmers kept planting after dark.
“With technology and the equipment that we run today you know we can run long hours folks can run overnight where they didn’t used to be able to do that,” according to Naig. “So you know when the conditions are right we can get a lot of acres covered in a pretty short time.”

Naig says it’s the time of year when many farmers put in lots of hours. “Working late, working overnight and you know getting just a few hours of sleep, that’s what we’ve got this year. The late start has kind of pushed people to have to do that,” he says.

The U.S.D.A. reported a 43% increase in corn planting last week and a 27 % increase in bean planting. The numbers for this week will be released Monday.