Corn planting lagging behind but farmers aren't worried - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Corn planting lagging behind but farmers aren't worried

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JOHNSON COUNTY (KWWL) - Tom Wall has been farming for more than 30 years and generations of Walls were in the fields before him. That's why he says it's not a problem that few Iowa farmers have begun planting corn.

 "With the size of machinery and the way guys are equipped and the way we've had the last few years, guys are, they know how to get a lot of corn in the ground in a real hurry," said Wall.

New numbers out this week from the United States Department of Agriculture show just 2% of Iowa's corn has been planted. The five year average for this time of year is 11%.

 "What that means is basically that -- that we are lagging behind," said Virgil Schmitt, Field Agronomist for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach.  "In terms of losing yield or anything like that we're not there yet."

Corn planting season is just beginning and according to Schmitt farmers have until around May 10th to plant and still reach full yield potential.

What they need to see is some cooperation from mother nature; warmer ground temperatures and no heavy rainfalls that would prevent planting, though some small showers would be welcomed.

"That's going to be a blessing," said Wall. "Soils are dry. We need to have moisture in July and August to help finish the crop out so that's just putting it in the bank for us."

Experts say farmers should be checking equipment now so that they're ready when it comes time to plant.

And for the rest of us, remember to keep an eye out for slow moving vehicles in the coming weeks.
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