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Rain, snow delay Iowa farmers planting corn

Half of oat crop planted, 6 percent has emerged

A farmer plants a field as the sun sets north of Walford on Monday. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)
A farmer plants a field as the sun sets north of Walford on Monday. (Jim Slosiarek/The Gazette)

Rain and snow limited Iowa farmers to just under three days of field work last week, delaying the planting of this year’s corn crop.

“With the corn crop insurance planting date behind us, many farmers are looking to get the first seeds in the ground,” Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig aid in a statement. “Iowa has been colder than normal, but this week’s forecast looks favorable and we should start to see planting progress in some parts of the state.”

Areas of southern Iowa saw a foot of snow late Thursday through Friday morning. Where possible, field activities for the week included planting, applying anhydrous and dry fertilizer, spreading manure, and tilling fields.

Only 2 percent of Iowa’s corn crop is in the ground, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. That’s almost a week behind the five-year average.

Half of Iowa’s expected oat crop has been planted, three days ahead of last year but a day behind average.

Six percent of the oat crop has emerged, five days behind average.

Areas of southern Iowa saw a foot of snow late Thursday through Friday morning. Where possible, field activities for the week included planting, applying anhydrous and dry fertilizer, spreading manure and tilling fields.

The statewide average temperature was 36 degrees, 14.3 degrees below normal. Drier-than-normal conditions also were reported across the northern three-quarters of the state.

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Topsoil moisture levels were rated 1 percent short, 81 percent adequate and 18 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels were rated 1 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 19 percent surplus.

Livestock producers in southern Iowa reported calving issues due to the snowfall and colder temperatures.

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