Producers planted one-third of the Iowa's soybean crop last week, while corn plantings reached 90% complete, according to the Iowa Agricultural Statistics Service May 21.
Progress was limited in east central and southeastern area of the state due to additional rain. Planting proceeded very well in the northern districts though many areas in that region remain wet and still have ponds in fields.
There were numerous reports across Iowa of corn acres that have been or will be replanted due to various reasons. Cold, wet weather caused soil crusting, creating germination and emergence problems. In many areas, excessive rain washed out portions of corn fields.
There were also reports of replanting due to corn fungus and wireworm. As one reporter stated, "it has been a frustrating spring for our farm producers as they face planting delays, replanting decisions, high fuel costs, and continued low commodity prices."
For the week ending May 20, there were 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork, statewide. The number of days favorable ranged from more than six days in the northwest and west central districts to less than one day in the southeast district.
Last week's warm and windy days dried soil moisture supplies in the west central and central districts. Iowa's topsoil moisture decreased to 2% very short, 10% short, 63% adequate, and 25% surplus. Subsoil moisture also dried out, rating 2% very short, 9% short, 74% adequate, and 15% surplus.
As of May 20, fertilizer application had been completed on 94% of the intended acres, including work accomplished last fall, compared to the five-year average of 97% complete by that day. Primary seedbed preparation, including last fall's tillage, reached 89% complete, compared to 95% on average.
Corn acreage planted by Iowa farmers increased to 90% complete for all acres as of May 20. Progress was only three days behind the five-year average of 92% planted by the same date. Last year, corn plantings were completed by May 20.
Corn had emerged on 58% of total acres as of May 20. This was well behind last year's unusually high 94%, but slightly ahead of the average of 54% emerged by May 20. In its initial week of evaluation, Iowa's corn condition was rated at 2% very poor, 7% poor, 23% fair, 54% good, and 14% excellent.
As of May 20, soybeans had been planted on 47% of Iowa's intended acres, with plantings ranging from 27% complete in the south central district to 66% complete in the central district, where half of the region's soybeans were planted last week.
Statewide, progress was well behind last year's unusually high 94%, but only three days behind the five-year average of 54% planted by the same date. Soybeans acres were 8% emerged, compared to the previous year of 60% and the average of 22% emerged by the same date.
Oats emerged increased to 97% of the total acres, surpassing the five-year average of 94% emerged by the same time. Virtually all of the oats had emerged by that date last year. Iowa's oat crop condition rated 2% poor, 20% fair, 62% good, and 16% excellent. Iowa's winter wheat crop condition rated 3% poor, 35% fair, 59% good, and 3% excellent.
There were reports of some heat stress in livestock early last week, and above average problems of pinkeye in cows. Feedlots have improved with the dry weather, and calves and lambs are doing great in pastures. Pasture conditions improved in the northwest district, but declined slightly across the rest of the state to rate 3% poor, 17% fair, 64% good, and 16% excellent. Reporters note the hay crop looks excellent and that alfalfa cutting may begin later this week.