116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
Iowa farmers have planted 14 percent of this year's corn crop, just ahead of last year, but four days behind the five-year average.
Rain and unseasonably cool weather slowed planting in Iowa in the week that ended on Sunday, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Services. The statewide average temperature for the week was 6.2 degrees below normal.
Temperatures fell as low as 23 degrees at Sibley in north western Iowa on Wednesday morning, 22 degrees at Cresco, Decorah, and Elkader on Thursday morning and 24 degrees at Elkader on Saturday morning.
Activities for the week included manure hauling, tillage, and application of anhydrous ammonia.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said in a news release that corn planting will likely begin in earnest with several days of warm, dry weather forecast for this week.
Topsoil moisture levels improved to 10 percent short, 80 percent adequate, and 10 percent surplus. It was the first April week since 2011 with no topsoil rated very short.
Subsoil moisture levels were rated 2 percent very short, 14 percent short, 80 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus.
Eighty-five percent of the Iowa's oat crop has been seeded, almost two weeks ahead of last year, and a week ahead of average. Oats emerged reached 41 percent, nine days ahead of last year, and a day ahead of normal.
Pasture condition improved to 56 percent good to excellent. Pastures continued to green up, though cool weather has slowed growth.
At the Fort Atkinson Hay Auction, Wednesday's sale had a good crowd of active buyers looking at better quality hay, pushing the average sale price up by nearly $20 per ton. The top price of $240 per ton was paid for two loads of second crop small square bales.
Many consignors are down to just a few loads of inside hay left, so the quality was better.