Some field work got under way
Iowa farmers took advantage of drying weather last week and started seed bed preparations for spring planting.
Dry weather last week allowed water levels to subside in rivers and the warm, windy conditions helped ground firm up, though it remains wet in areas.
Richard Simpson, a rural Algona farmer, said he got 48 acres of corn into a field south of Algona on April 1.
Planting into lighter soils, he said he saw water standing in neighboring fields while he was planting.
Farm News staff writer Clayton Rye reported that he and his son made some test passes over their fields and although they found the top inch of soil was dry, underneath the ground was too wet to be rolling over it.
Staffer Kriss Nelson reported that there was limited field work and some tiling work within Webster County.
“Most of what we’ve seen are anhydrous tanks rolling,” Nelson said. “We did some field work, but then it rained and then we wondered, why we bothered, because we’ll just have to do it over again.”
Staffer Darcy Dougherty Maulsby reported that some anhydrous applications were made in her area around Lake City. Some fields seemed too wet yet to begin planting.
Primary farm activities throughout Iowa last week included finishing the 2009 corn harvest and preparing for the upcoming planting season.
With nice spring weather, farmers have also been able to apply fertilizer, disk corn stalks and level fields that were chisel-plowed last fall.
Even with last week’s warmer-than-average temperatures, the soil in some areas still needs more dry days before widespread planting can begin.
According to the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship, there were 3.9 days suitable for fieldwork during the week. Topsoil moisture rated 1 percent very short, 4 percent short, 75 percent adequate and 20 percent surplus across the state.
Subsoil moisture rated 0 percent very short, 2 percent short, 72 percent adequate, and 26 percent surplus. Overall, soil moisture conditions are rated mostly adequate.
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