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Growing week retrospective – May 11 to May 18

By Staff | May 22, 2009

Ag summary:

Iowa farmers continue to be hampered by rainy cool weather although crops already planted made headway in emergence. Warm dry days are needed to help boost crop condition and allow farmers to finish spring field work. Possible flooding concerns continue for many producers in the Southeast district.

There were 2.8 days suitable for fieldwork during the week, compared to the five-year average of 4.0 days.

Topsoil moisture rated 1 percent short, 66 percent adequate, and 33 percent surplus across the state. Subsoil moisture rated 1 percent short, 63 percent adequate, and 36 percent surplus.

Field crops report

Corn planting progressed to 90 percent complete, 6 days ahead of last year’s pace, but equal to the five-year average.

An estimated 54 percent of corn acres have emerged compared with 16 percent last year. Normally, 50 percent have emerged by this date.

Ninety-nine percent of the oat acreage has been planted and 88 percent has emerged. Most of the oat acreage remaining to be planted is in the southern one-third of the state. Emergence made noticeable progress up 16 points from last week’s report.

Oat condition is rated 3 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 57 percent good, and 18 percent excellent.

Soybean planting advanced to 41 percent complete, ahead of last year, but 11 percentage points behind the five-year average.

Northwest and west central areas have over one-half of their soybean crop planted.

Only five percent of the state’s soybean crop has emerged.

Fertilizer applications are 97 percent complete, 4 percentage points ahead of last year, and on par with the five-year average.

Pasture and range report

Pasture and range condition rated 1 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 52 percent good, and 16 percent excellent. Cows continue to be turned out to pasture.

However, producers are keeping a watchful eye for signs of grass tetany.

Weather summary

It was an unseasonably cool week across Iowa with heavy rain across the southeast with only light showers across the far northwest. The work week began with dry weather on May 11 with daytime highs in the mid 60s east to low 70s west. Showers and thunderstorms prevailed statewide on May12 and over the southeast two-thirds of Iowa on May 13 with highs in the 70s.

May 14 was mostly dry, but with highs only in the 60s. Showers and thunderstorms returned to all but the extreme northwest on Friday with highs mostly in the 60s.

Dry and cool weather prevailed over the weekend except for some isolated light showers Sunday morning over the northwest with highs mostly in the 50s and 60s. Temperatures for the week averaged 4.5 degrees below normal. Extremes ranged from Wednesday afternoon highs of 78 degrees at Indianola and Osceola to a Sunday morning low of 29 degrees at Cresco. Temperatures approached freezing Saturday morning in the far northwest and fell below freezing in scattered areas on Sunday morning, particularly across the northeast. Weekly rain totals varied from only 0.05 inches at Sibley to 4.30 inches at Burlington.

The statewide average rainfall was 1.38 inches while normal for the week is 0.94 inches. Soil temperatures as of Saturday were averaging in the low 50s north to upper 50s south.

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