Wet conditions stall field work - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Wet conditions stall field work

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DES MOINES (KWWL) – Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey today commented on the Iowa Crops and Weather report released by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service. The report is released weekly from April through October.

"The heavy rains that covered much of the state early last week kept most farmers out of the field all week," Northey said. "However, with a few more days of warm, dry weather will allow many fields to dry so field work and then planting can get underway."

WET CONDITIONS EARLY IN WEEK STALL PROGRESS

Agricultural Summary: Rain and hail early in the week along with cold, windy weather and isolated frost slowed crop progress the past week. Farmers mainly concentrated on applying fertilizer and chemicals, and continuing with spring field tillage. Oat planting is progressing, while the corn planting is just getting underway. Farmers are optimistic that good weather this week will result in corn planting progress. Final 2009 corn harvest is winding down and calving is in full swing.

There were 3.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week, compared to 3.9 days last week. Topsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 3 percent short, 76 percent adequate, and 21 percent surplus across the state. Subsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 73 percent adequate, and 26 percent surplus. Overall, soil moisture conditions continue to be rated mostly adequate.

Field Crops Report: Corn planting has begun with all areas of the state reporting at least some small acreage planted. Oat acreage planted was 55 percent complete, well ahead of last year's 31 percent and the five-year average of 30 percent. 

Livestock, Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range condition rated 1 percent very poor, 7 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 52 percent good, and 7 percent excellent. Pasture conditions improved though remaining wet in some areas. The long winter caused a lack of nutrition for cattle which has affected calving in some areas, where above normal calf losses have been reported. Cattle have had to be moved to dry lots and pastures due to wet conditions in feedlots. Farmers are still trying to repair fences damaged by snow.

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