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Iowa Farmers Working Hard to Plant Crops
Iowa Ag Connection - 05/21/2019

Iowa farmers worked hard to make planting progress with drier conditions during the early part of the week ending Sunday, according to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. However, heavy rain fell late in the week which limited farmers to 2.7 days suitable for fieldwork statewide.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 0 percent short, 59 percent adequate and 41 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 1 percent short, 58 percent adequate and 41 percent surplus.

Iowa corn growers have 70 percent of the expected crop planted, 5 days behind last year and 9 days behind the 5-year average. This is the smallest percent of corn planted by May 19 since 1995 when just 53 percent of the expected crop had been planted. Even with limited days suitable for fieldwork, farmers in the northern districts and east central Iowa managed to plant at least a quarter of their expected corn crop this past week. Northeast Iowa planted the highest percentage of corn as they planted 43 percent of their expected crop. Twenty percent of the crop has emerged, over a week behind last year and average. Twenty-seven percent of the expected soybean crop has been planted, 8 days behind last year and 9 days behind average. Three percent of the crop has emerged, 6 days behind average. Nearly all the expected oat crop has been planted with 76 percent emerged, 2 days behind last year and 1 week behind average.

There were scattered reports for the first cutting of alfalfa hay. Hay condition rated 62 percent good to excellent. Pasture condition improved slightly to 63 percent good to excellent. Warmer temperatures early in the week helped pastures grow, allowing cattle farmers to move more cattle out to graze.

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