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Wet, cool week puts corn planting slightly behind

Dave DeWitte, CR Gazette –

Cool wet weather allowed Iowa farmers little time to work in their fields last week and put planting a little behind schedule.

Rainfall averaged about 1 inch across the state last week, while temperatures averaged 2.5 degrees below normal, according to the USDA’s weekly crop report. Farmers had only 1.8 days suitable for field work on average.

The relatively slow progress left only about 9 percent of the corn crop planted by the end of the week, behind the average of 16 percent planted for this time of year.

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said it’s too early to be concerned.

“It is still very early and with dry weather forecast for much of this week I expect a lot of progress to be made and farmers to get their corn planted in a timely manner,” Northey said in prepared remarks.

While delaying planting progress, the week’s rainfall improved soil moisture conditions which were dry in some parts of the state. Across Iowa, topsoil moisture levels are now 72 percent adequate, 16 percent surplus, 10 percent short and only 2 percent very short.

One percent of the corn crop has emerged, 13 days ahead of normal.

The percentage of soybeans planted remain below 1 percent.

The USDA said 57 percent of the oat acreage has emerged, well above the average of 18 percent for this time of year.

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