There were 4.3 days suitable for field work during the week ending May 17, 2020, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Windy days made spraying weeds difficult, but planting continued prior to most of Iowa receiving rain in the latter half of the week.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 2% very short, 7% short, 78% adequate and 13% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 6% short, 83% adequate and 10% surplus. Iowa farmers have planted 96% of the expected corn crop, nearly a month ahead of last year and almost 3 weeks ahead of the 5-year average. Only Southwest Iowa has over 10% remaining to be planted. Corn emergence improved to 62%, almost double that of the previous week.
The soybean crop moved to 86% planted, also nearly a month ahead of last year and 3 weeks ahead of average. Farmers in the northern one-third of the State have less than 10% of their soybeans left to plant. One-fourth of the soybean crop has emerged.
Seeding of the oat crop is virtually complete, with 91% emerged. Oat condition rated 80% good to excellent. Hay condition rated 71% good to excellent. Pasture condition rated 62% good to excellent. Warmer temperatures would help improve growth in pastures and hay fields. Livestock conditions continue to be good with little to no stress reported.