• Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Iowa farmers have finished planting, and warm, dry weather remains

Iowa farmers have finished planting, and warm, dry weather remains

Iowa farmers had six ideal days of fieldwork last week, finishing planting, applying crop protection and fertilizer, and planting hay.

Isolated rains lashed various parts of the state. “Widespread precipitation has been below average, and much of the state remains unusually dry, but forecasts indicate a possible return to precipitation and more seasonal temperatures,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Knigg said Monday.

Last week’s rainfall totals ranged from none in far eastern Iowa to nearly 4 inches in central Iowa’s Madison County.

The USDA said topsoil moisture conditions were 13% very short, 42% short, 44% adequate and 1% excess. Soil moisture conditions were 12% very short, 41% short, 46% adequate, and 1% surplus.

Iowa drought map as of late May 2023

US Drought Monitor

U.S. Drought Monitor maps published on May 30 indicate dry conditions will quickly spread across the state by the end of the month. D3 severe drought persists in western Woodbury and Monona counties. D2 severe drought covers more than 4 percent of the state. A third pocket of moderate drought emerged in northeast Iowa, with total D1 acres at 34%. Above-average temperatures resulted in unusually dry conditions for 20% to 53% of the state. Less than 8% of the state is moisture free.

Iowa corn

Corn planting is officially complete in Iowa, 4% ahead of the average pace, the USDA reported Monday. Emergence is well ahead of normal with 94% of the maize crop out of the ground. The five-year average is 86%.

Corn condition dropped to 0% very poor, 3% poor, 25% fair, 60% good and 12% poor, the USDA said.

A field of soybeans growing on corn stalks outside Grandview, Iowa in early June

Natalina Bausch was sent

Iowa soybeans

Soybean planting in Iowa is up 4% from last week with 98% of the crop in the ground nearly complete. The five-year average for this year is 86%.

Emergence skyrocketed in the week ending June 4, up 20% from the previous week to 87%. This is 22% ahead of the five-year average.

USDA reported soybean condition as 0% very poor, 4% poor, 26% fair, 59% good, and 11% excellent.

Iowa oats

Iowa farmers finished planting oats before the end of May this year, well ahead of the normal planting pace. Emergence was estimated at 99% for the week ending June 4, slightly ahead of the five-year average of 97%.

Statewide, 38% of the oat crop is advanced, up 21% from last week. The five-year average is 19%.

Oat condition dropped to 1% very poor, 2% poor, 27% fair, 61% good, and 9% excellent, reports the USDA.

Iowa Hay and Forage

Grass condition was 1% very poor, 8% poor, 39% fair, 42% good, and 10% excellent.

The Iowa Department of Agriculture (IDALS) reported that 78% of alfalfa haying is complete, 12 days earlier than the five-year average.

According to a blog published by Iowa State University Extension in late May, southern Iowa field agronomists reported that the rate of grass cutting was due to alfalfa weevil stress. Agronomists also noticed aphids.

“If you haven’t already done so, consider inspecting alfalfa for these pests to ensure you can make a timely management decision,” suggested authors Ashley Dean and Erin Hodgson.

Pasture and Range in Iowa

USDA rated pasture and range condition as 2% very poor, 19% poor, 37% fair, 36% good, and 6% excellent.

Some cattle producers have already had to feed hay because of drying out pastures, Idles noted Monday.

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