Weather Alert

Planting speeds ahead along with optimism of better grain prices

DES MOINES — Favorable conditions for planting continued again last week.

Iowa Ag Secretary Mike Naig says the dry weather kept things moving. He says the dry weather allowed planting to move ahead quickly — so 86 percent of the corn crop is now planted and 67 present of the soybean crop is done — with corn 10 days ahead of the five-year average and soybeans are 15 days ahead of the five-year average. 

The Monday crop report shows north-central Iowa farmers have 94% of the corn planted with 27% having emerged. 85% of the soybean crop has been planted with 5% having emerged.

Corn emergence statewide improved to 22 percent — up from two percent last week — and Naig says he hopes the emergence can continue to improve. “We’ve seen some cooler and drier conditions that have certainly caused that corn to lay in the ground a little longer than maybe normal. But with a much-needed rain, a drink of water will get that corn growing. And some sunshine of course — we need heat to get things going,” according to Naig. 

Naig says the recent rise in corn and soybean prices adds to the excitement for farmers getting into the fields. “Farmers are feeling a lot better about prices this spring versus the last couple of years. And certainly that’s good when you can look at the marketplace and know that you can lock in a profit for the year,” Naig says. “Now with that, some of the input costs have been going up and certainly livestock products have been  experiencing some increases in feed costs as well.” 

Naig says farmers are always optimistic as the planting season moves ahead — but also know conditions often change. “Weather and markets are two things where the only constant is change, and folks are used to dealing with that,” Naig says.

North-central Iowa farmers have five-and-a-half days that were suitable for field work last week. Topsoil moisture in north-central Iowa is 8% very short, 36% short, 56% adequate, and none surplus. Subsoil moisture was 11% very short, 49% short, 40% adequate and none surplus.

Naig says the optimism is high that the year will go well and farmers will have a good result when it comes to the harvest.

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