Iowa Remains Dry, Planting Progress Made

Farmers are still behind normal planting times, but they are catching up.

Director of the National Laboratory for Agriculture and The Environment at Iowa State University Dr. Dennis Todey says there are a number of reasons for delays. Going back to April, there were cold conditions in the Midwest holding up planting. Iowa also had the coldest April on record, beating 1907 temperatures.

Todey says another reason is rain, "We've had some very dry conditions, except for a narrow band running from Southeast South Dakota, through Southern Minnesota, Northern Iowa, all the way to northwest Wisconsin. That band area has been wet, so agriculture in that area has been slowed down."

There were only about four days good for fieldwork according to the Iowa Crop Progress report.

Iowa corn is nearly entirely planted, 86 percent complete, about five days behind last year. North Central Iowa planted nearly half of their crop in a week. Fifty-three percent of corn has emerged.

In soybeans, 58 percent of the crop is planted. Northern Iowa is still behind and 18 percent of soybeans have emerged.

Nearly all of Iowa's oats have been planted and hay and pasture conditions have improved.

Soil moisture levels vary across the state, but on average 78 percent of topsoil and 74 percent of subsoil has adequate moisture. However, South Central Iowa is 68 percent short to very short on moisture.

Dr. Todey says the main drought areas from last year are still not getting enough rain, "And down to the southeast again is in what's called D1 moderate drought conditions. For dry conditions this spring and going back even two years. If you look at some two years numbers in the south central part of the state, we're 12 to 16 inches below average."

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