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Serving: United States
corn emerging in field
GOOD START: Iowa’s 2018 corn crop at end of May is 63% good and 19% excellent, based on USDA’s first-of-the-season crop condition rating.

Corn planting 96% complete in Iowa

Soybean planting is 81% finished as of May 27, says USDA weekly survey.

Iowa farmers are winding up corn planting for 2018, with 96% of the crop in the ground as of May 27. They still had about 20% of the state’s soybean crop to plant, according to USDA’s latest weekly survey.

“The warm, dry weather this past week allowed many farmers to make significant progress, and now 96% of the state’s corn and 81% of soybeans have been planted. That is on pace or slightly ahead of the five-year average,” says Mike Naig, Iowa secretary of agriculture. “The high temperatures have created some stress for livestock, and farmers have been working hard to provide plenty of water and make sure their animals are as comfortable as possible.

U.S. corn 92% planted, soybeans 77%
Nationally, corn planting is 92% complete versus a 90% five-year average. The U.S. corn crop is rated 79% excellent. USDA’s latest weekly report pegs the U.S. soybean crop at 77% planted versus a 62% five-year average. USDA says soybean emergence is 47% versus a 32% five-year average.

The complete weekly Iowa Crop Progress and Weather Report is available on the Iowa Department of Ag and Land Stewardship website at or on USDA’s site at The report summary follows.

Crop report
A hot and dry week across much of Iowa allowed farmers 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending May 27, according to USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service.

Topsoil moisture rated 3% very short, 12% short, 77% adequate and 8% surplus. Subsoil moisture rated 5% very short, 12% short, 74% adequate and 9% surplus. South-central Iowa continues to struggle with subsoil moisture supply availability with three-quarters rated short to very short.

Iowa’s corn 77% emerged
Iowa growers have planted 96% of the expected corn crop, with 77% of the crop emerged. Farmers in the northern one-third of the state were able to plant over 20% of their corn during the previous week, which leaves less than 10% still to be planted. Soybean growers have 81% of the expected crop planted, a week ahead of the five-year average. Across Iowa, 44% of soybeans have emerged, three days ahead of last year.

Nearly all the expected oat crop has been planted, one week behind average. Statewide, 95% of the crop has emerged, two days behind last year. And 4% of the oat crop has headed, four days behind both last year and the average.

Hay crop rated 65% good-to-excellent
Hay conditions improved slightly to 65% good-to-excellent. Pasture conditions also improved to 60% good-to-excellent. Warm temperatures and improved soil moisture levels strongly supported pasture and hay growth. Extreme temperatures resulted in reports of heat stress in cattle herds.

Weather summary
According to Michael Timlin, regional climatologist, Midwestern Regional Climate Center, temperatures were above normal across Iowa, while most of the state saw below-average rainfall during the week ending May 27.

Temperatures warmed through the week with maximum temps in the upper 50s and 60s early in the week and climbing to the 90s by the end of the week in all but the northeast corner of the state. Minimum temperatures climbed from the upper 40s and 50s to the 60s later in the week.

The coolest temperature recorded during the week was 47 degrees at Sibley on the May 21, while the warmest reading was 101 degrees at Red Oak on May 26. With the rising air temperatures, soil temperatures also rose from the upper 50s and 60s into the 70s by the end of the week.

Rainfall 200% of normal to less than 10%
Widespread rainfall on the May 21 gave way to scattered rain for the rest of the week. Severe weather on May 25 included strong winds and large hail. Wind reports over 60 mph and reports of trees and limbs downed along with large hail up to 2 inches in diameter came in from central to northeast Iowa.

Above-normal rainfall was reported at only some locations in the northeast third of the state, while totals were less than 0.20 inch for many locations in the southwest half of the state.

Viewed as a percentage of normal, the rainfall ranged from 200% of normal to less than 10% of normal. Highest rainfall total was recorded at Estherville in Emmet County with 2.67 inches, including 2.39 inches on May 23. The driest location was nearby at Primghar in O’Brien County, where no precipitation fell during the week.

TAGS: Weather
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