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At last! Planting window is open

By Staff | May 6, 2011

-Farm News photo by Clayton Rye Scott Christiensen plants Tuesday afternoon east of Goldfield in Wright County. Christiensen started Sunday under less than ideal conditions but by Tuesday had 400 acres planted and conditions were greatly improved. With favorable weather and few breakdowns, Christiensen anticipates finishing corn planting by Saturday and will be planting soybeans next week.

By LARRY KERSHNER

Farm News news editor

As temperatures improved, rains held off and prairie winds dried the topsoil over the weekend, Iowa farmers throughout the Farm News coverage area were finally able to start their engines and get to the business of spring planting.

As of Sunday, the statewide corn planting was just 8 percent complete, far behind last year, at 82 percent, and the five-year average of 48 percent.

Southwest Iowa counties are leading the state being 21 percent planted as weather patterns have been fairer in that district. Trailing the state are north central counties being just two percent complete.

Without additional planting delays, crop advisors say there should be no yield loss in corn.

If there are delays, the yield potential for corn should be relatively safe, however, it would threaten soybeans.

The longer it takes to plant corn, the farther soybean planting is pushed back.

Oat planting is nearing completion, being 83 percent done, as of Sunday, up from 72 percent a week earlier and even with the five-year average.

Not surprisingly, the topsoil and subsoil moisture profiles across the state show 99 percent has adequate or surplus water.

Monday morning greeted farmers and city folks alike with a frost on windshields, reminiscent of last year, in early May, when frost damaged emerged corn plants after farmers were able to finish corn planting in April.

According to Greg Thessen, state director for the NASS office in Iowa, “This spring continues to be one of the slowest corn planting sessions in the last 10 years.”

Contact Larry Kershner at (515) 573-2141, Ext. 453 or at kersh@farm-pnews.com.

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