Persistent, heavy rains a concern for farmers - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Persistent, heavy rains a concern for farmers


DES MOINES (KWWL) – Farmers cannot help feeling discouraged as Mother Nature supplied Iowa with heavy rains much of the week. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey Monday 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 persistent and heavy rains are a real concern statewide, but especially in South Central and Southeast Iowa that have been wetter all spring long," Northey said. "Hopefully Iowa will miss some of the moisture in the forecast so fields can dry and farmers will be able to replant when necessary or finish spraying for weeds."

The full report is listed below:

Agricultural Summary: The large amounts of rainfall in short periods of time have led to erosion, especially in fields that were tilled. Cropland with poor drainage or in low lying areas is under water. The weather gave farmers little opportunity to continue with field work. Planting that has yet to be completed is becoming a concern because of the uncertainty of when it can get done. Spraying has fallen behind schedule and rapid weed growth is starting to become a problem.

Overall crop conditions are still being reported in mostly good condition, but fields need an opportunity to absorb the excess rain. Corn has been characterized as turning yellow in wet areas, while dark green and reaching heights of 58 inches in other localities. Soybeans are emerging nicely, but are becoming highly concentrated with weeds. Hay quality from producers' first cutting is being hurt due to the inability of getting it baled; meanwhile second cutting growth is off to a great start. Pastures are having difficulty draining and are very soggy with many instances of standing water, but continue to provide adequate grazing for livestock.

There were 1.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week, compared with 3.9 days the previous week. Both Southeast and South Central Iowa reported less than 1 day suitable, while East Central Iowa reported the high, with 2.8 days. Topsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 51 percent adequate, and 49 percent surplus across the state. Subsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 57 percent adequate, and 42 percent surplus.

Field Crops Report: Nearly all the expected corn acreage has emerged and rated 2 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 18 percent fair, 54 percent good, and 22 percent excellent. Ninety-seven percent of the soybeans have been planted, equal to last year and the five-year average. Soybeans emerged reached 92 percent, 2 percentage points ahead of last year and 3 percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Soybean condition rated 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 20 percent fair, 57 percent good, and 18 percent excellent. Fifty-five percent of the oat acreage has headed, ahead of last year's 28 percent and the five-year average of 39 percent. Oat condition rated 1 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 17 percent fair, 61 percent good, and 16 percent excellent. The first cutting of alfalfa increased slightly to 68 percent, still ahead of last year's 52 percent and the five-year average of 59 percent. All hay condition rated 2 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 24 percent fair, 54 percent good, and 14 percent excellent.

Livestock, Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range condition rated 1 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 15 percent fair, 60 percent good, and 21 percent excellent. Mild temperatures have been good for livestock. The only concerns being reported are related to livestock housed outside in pastures along streams and creeks.

Online Producer: Jason Mortvedt



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