Farm Progress is part of the Informa Markets Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Serving: IA
flooded pasture Farm Progress
WET START: Heading into this spring with subsoil moisture at capacity across much of Iowa, farmers could face another frustrating planting season.

Will Iowa farmers face planting delays again?

Feb. 20 webinar will probe weather and climate issues facing growers in 2020.

Iowa State University Extension is partnering to offer a free webinar called “Dealing with the Changing Climate in Agriculture: Issues in 2020 and Beyond.” The session will air from noon to 1 p.m. Feb. 20.

The webinar will discuss issues leading into the 2020 growing season and put that information into a larger context of what is happening with Midwest weather and climate long term. 

After a very wet spring a year ago, farmers are wondering what’s in store for spring planting. Subsoil moisture is near capacity for most of Iowa, thanks to the wet conditions last fall. From September through November, the statewide average precipitation totaled 12.33 inches — 4.3 inches above normal, making it the seventh wettest fall on record in Iowa. 

Weather outlook

Moving into spring, we’ll need to monitor the melting snowpack across Iowa and upstream as flows are near-to-above average. Flooding could again be an issue this spring. Depending on precipitation, wetter-than-normal field surface conditions could impede early fieldwork, as happened in 2018 and 2019. 

“If you participate in the Feb. 20 webinar, you’ll have an understanding of the current climate and weather issues, and discover where to find resources to help with decision-making,” says Fred Hall, dairy specialist with ISU Extension. “We are excited to have Dennis Todey, director of USDA’s Midwest Climate Hub, leading the discussion.” 

Todey is a native Iowan who holds a doctorate in meteorology and ag meteorology from ISU, and his master’s degree from the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He is well-known across the region as a speaker and media source on various climate issues, and is the former president of the American Association of State Climatologists. 
Tune in to find out more 

“There are no strong indications on temperature into the summer, so spring delays again are a possibility as they have been more frequently occurring in the last couple decades,” Todey says. “The risk of additional precipitation exists into early and mid-spring of 2020. We are not guaranteeing delays in planting, but the risk is definitely there. The risk of increased spring precipitation is an on-going one.” 

The Feb. 20 webinar is free and open to the public, thanks to sponsorship and coordination from the I-29 Moo University, which is a consortium of ISU Extension, University of Minnesota Extension, Nebraska Extension, North Dakota State University Extension Service and South Dakota State University Extension dairy specialists. 

To register for the webinar, visit I-29 Moo University. Or contact Fred Hall at 712-737-4230 or

Source: ISU, which is solely responsible for the information provided and is wholly owned by the source. Informa Business Media and all its subsidiaries are not responsible for any of the content contained in this information asset.


Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.