Planting corn ahead of normal year

USDA, NASSRain slowed planting progress in much of Iowa during the week ending April 24, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Statewide there were 3.6 days suitable for fieldwork, but west central Iowa reported just two days. Other activities for the week included tillage, anhydrous applications, and planting preparations.

Topsoil moisture levels statewide rated 5 percent short, 89 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus. Topsoil moisture levels in west central Iowa rated 1 percent short, 88 percent adequate and 11 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture levels statewide rated 3 percent short, 90 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels in west central Iowa rated 2 percent short, 84 percent adequate and 11 percent surplus.

Forty percent of the corn acreage has been planted (30 percent in west central Iowa), six days ahead of last year and 11 days ahead of the 5-year average. Farmers in north central, central, and southeast Iowa have already planted over half their corn crop. There were scattered reports of soybeans being planted.

Pasture condition rated 61 percent good to excellent, with pastures described as green and growing. Livestock conditions were reported as good, although some feedlots were back to muddy conditions due to the rain.

Iowa preliminary weather summary by Harry Hillaker, state climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship – A very slow moving storm system brought rain to far western Iowa on Sunday night, April 17, and finally exited the state on Thursday afternoon, April 21. Heaviest rains with this system fell over far western Iowa, particularly on Wednesday.

Dry weather prevailed statewide on Friday and Saturday, April 22-23, before showers and thunderstorms moved into western Iowa Sunday morning, April 24. Thunderstorms also redeveloped over the west one-half of Iowa late Sunday afternoon and evening, a few of which brought hail and high winds. However, this last round of storms came too late to be reflected in this reporting week’s statistics.

Weekly rain totals varied from only 0.05 inches at Marion to 3.88 inches at Kennebec in Monona County. There was a statewide average of 1.07 inches of rain for the week, slightly above the normal for the period of 0.89 inches.

Monday, April 18, was the warmest day of the reporting week across eastern Iowa and Sunday, April 24, was the warmest over the west. In between these two very warm days, the remainder of the week brought temperatures near to slightly above seasonal normals.

Temperature extremes for the week varied from highs of 83 degrees at Muscatine on Monday and 84 degrees at Glenwood on Sunday, April 24, while Mason City recorded the lowest temperature at 35 degrees on Saturday morning, April 23.

Temperatures for the week as a whole averaged 6.1 degrees above normal. Soil temperatures at the four inch depth were mostly averaging in the upper 50s across Iowa as of Sunday, April 24.

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