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Serving: IA
closeup of emerging plants Rod Swoboda
CHECK YOUR STAND: Corn and soybean emergence has been uneven in some areas of Iowa, due to planting into dry soil.

Planting almost at finish line in Iowa

Survey shows Iowa has 98% of corn, 95% of soybeans planted as of May 31.

Corn and soybean planting across the state is nearly complete for 2020. The latest weekly statewide USDA survey shows Iowa farmers have 98% of the corn crop in the ground, one week ahead of the five-year average. The survey results are based on observations of crop reporters as of May 31.

Iowa has 95% of the expected soybean acreage planted, more than two weeks ahead of the five-year average. In north-central Iowa, 99% of the corn is now emerged, compared to 93% average for the state. Corn is only 81% emerged in southwest Iowa, where planting was a later, and it was cooler and wetter in May.

“Corn and soybeans are now mostly emerged here in north-central Iowa,” says Angie Rieck-Hinz, Iowa State University Extension field agronomist. “There are some later-planted beans just coming up, but we don’t have very many acres of those. The weekly survey released June 1 shows 100% of our soybeans are now planted in north-central Iowa. Most of our soybeans are emerged and are between the V2 and V3 growth stage already.”

She adds, “Our corn is anywhere from V2 to V4 growth stage here in north-central Iowa. Thank goodness for the sun and heat. We’ll get the corn to grow now as we enter June and have warmer weather. The crop looks behind in development because it’s been cool and overcast a lot of the days in May. Many of the plants have a yellowish tint instead of deep dark green. But with the warmth and sun we had the past few days, corn is starting to green up already.”

Iowa is expecting warmer temperatures over the next few days. “The heat that’s forecast for this week should help move the crop along," observes Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig.

Crop report

Rain throughout the week resulted in 2.7 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending May 31, according to USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service. Warmer temperatures advanced crop development. The complete weekly Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report is available on USDA’s site at 

Topsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 1% short, 78% adequate and 20% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0% very short, 1% short, 81% adequate and 18% surplus.

Iowa farmers have planted 98% of the expected corn crop, two weeks ahead of last year and one week ahead of the five-year average. Corn emergence was at 93% as of May 31, almost three weeks ahead of last year and 10 days ahead of the five-year average. Corn condition has improved to 85% good-to-excellent.

The soybean crop moved to 95% planted, three weeks ahead of last year and over two weeks ahead of average. Iowa’s soybean crop is now 67% emerged, three weeks ahead of last year and 11 days ahead of the five-year average. Soybean condition is rated 81% good-to-excellent. Looking at Iowa’s oat crop, 98% has emerged with 5% headed. Oat condition is rated 83% good-to-excellent.

The state’s first cutting of alfalfa hay this spring is 16% completed, five days ahead of last year. Hay condition is rated 74% good-to-excellent. Pasture condition has improved to 66% good-to-excellent. There was little stress on livestock last week although feedlots remain muddy.

Weather summary

The final week of May was warmer and wetter across much of Iowa as an active storm track brought multiple systems through the state. “Above-average rain totals were reported at a majority of our stations,” says Justin Glisan, state climatologist at the Iowa Department of Agriculture. “Near seasonal temperatures were observed across western Iowa, with warmer conditions farther east. The statewide average temperature was 66.3 degrees, 2.3 degrees above normal.”

Weekly rain totals ranged from 0.12 inch in Remsen (Plymouth County) to 4.29 inches in Tripoli (Bremer County). Statewide weekly average precipitation was 1.57 inches compared to the normal of 1.07 inches. Muscatine (Muscatine County) reported the week’s high temperature of 89 degrees on the May 25, which is 12 degrees above normal. Elkader (Clayton County) and Stanley (Buchanan County) reported the week’s low temperature of 43 degrees on May 30, which is 8 degrees below normal.

U.S. corn 93% complete

Looking at the national picture, USDA says corn and soybean crops are progressing well. The weekly survey shows U.S. farmers have 93% of the corn crop planted, ahead of the five-year average of 89%, but below the grain trade’s expectation of 95%. The report says 78% of the nation’s corn has emerged, versus a 73% five-year average. USDA estimates 74% of the corn has a good-to-excellent rating, up from 70% a week ago.

Soybean planting nationally is 75% completed, versus a 68% five-year average for this date. But it’s below the trade’s expectation of 77%. USDA says 52% of the U.S. soybean crop has emerged, versus a 44% five-year average. USDA estimates the 2020 soybean crop has a 70% good-to-excellent rating.

TAGS: Weather
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