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By Staff | May 2, 2012

Taking advantage of a clear-weather window, Cliff Mickelson, of Duncombe, was out in this 150-acre field adjoining his farm planting corn Wednesday morning. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service announced that as of Monday, 50 percent of Iowa's intended corn acres had been planted, with 5 percent emergence. He was pulling a 24-row planter with a John Deere 8245R tractor.


By USDA-National

Agricultural Statistics Service

Corn planting progressed rapidly in most areas as Iowa’s farmers took full advantage of dry fields early in the week.

Corn planting advanced at least 25 percentage points in each district of the state.

However, the weather became much cooler and wetter at the end of the week ending planting activities.

There were 4.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week, compared with just 1.8 days the previous week.

Topsoil moisture levels improved to 1 percent very short, 7 percent short, 76 percent adequate and 16 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture also improved and is now rated 7 percent very short, 21 percent short, 65 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus.

Despite receiving rainfall late in the week, corn planting advanced 41 percentage points and now stands at 50 percent complete, compared with 7 percent at this time last year and the five-year average of 32 percent.

Five percent of the corn crop has emerged, 10 days ahead of normal.

Iowa’s soybean planting is 3 percent complete with southeast Iowa leading the way with 12 percent planted.

Oat planting was 98 percent complete, ahead of last year’s 80 percent and the five-year average of 76 percent.

Seventy-six percent of the expected oat acreage has emerged, well ahead of last year’s 38 percent and the five-year average of 36 percent.

Oat condition improved to 1 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 23 percent fair, 63 percent good and 11 percent excellent.

Sixty-seven percent of Iowa’s pasture and range land is now rated good to excellent, a 2 percentage point decrease from the previous week.

Pasture and range condition rated 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 47 percent good and 20 percent excellent.



State climatologist

Iowa experienced a rather typical week of spring weather characterized by widely varying temperatures and occasional showers and thunderstorms.

The reporting week began on the cold side of normal with morning lows mostly in the 30s on April 24, with a freeze reported in a few northwestern locations.

A rapid warm-up commenced on April 25 with afternoon highs ranging from the upper 60s northeast to upper 80s west.

April 26 was the warmest day of the week in most areas with highs climbing into the low 90s at a few southwest Iowa locations.

Temperatures dropped to more seasonal levels on April 27 and were well below normal over the weekend with daytime highs mostly in the 50s.

Temperature extremes for the week ranged from April 23 morning lows of 28 degrees at Battle Creek, Sibley and Spencer to an April 25 afternoon high of 92 degrees at Red Oak.

Temperatures for the week, as a whole, averaged 2 to 3 degrees below normal across the east to 3 to 4 degrees above normal in the west with a statewide average of 0.6 degrees above normal.

Dry weather prevailed in most areas through Friday morning.

However, rain fell statewide from Friday afternoon into Saturday morning with rain amounts around one-half inch in most areas.

Rain also fell over the southeast three-fourths of the state on Sunday with greatest amounts of around an inch in parts of east central and southeast Iowa.

Weekly rain totals varied from 0.34 near Lake Park to 2.01 inches at Keosauqua.

The statewide average rainfall was 0.83 inch, or just a little less than the weekly normal of 0.95 inch.

Soil temperatures as of Sunday averaged near 50 degrees statewide.

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