Warmer temperatures during the week ending April 4 have triggered the onset of spring fieldwork for Iowa farmers, according to the Iowa Agricultural Statistics Serivce, April 5.
While some areas remain too wet for field activities, other farmers have begun applying fertilizer to hay and pasture ground, re-seeding pastures, planting oats, spreading manure, and applying nitrogen. There were multiple reports of tiles running throughout the state.
There were 2.7 days suitable for fieldwork, compared to 3.7 days last year at this time. Topsoil moisture rated 2 percent very short, 8 percent short, 78 percent adequate, and 12 percent surplus across Iowa. Subsoil moisture rated 6 percent very short, 25 percent short, 63 percent adequate, and 6 percent surplus. Compared to drier conditions last fall and last year at this time, soil moisture ratings were more favorable last week in Iowa.
Oat seedings were 14 percent complete, behind both last year's progress of 26 percent and the five-year average of 28 percent. No significant corn planting has occurred in Iowa. Primary seedbed preparations were 32 percent complete, while fertilizer applications were 49 percent complete.
Calving was well under way with few losses, and lambing was nearly complete. Favorable weather conditions during calving made for a smooth calving season. Scattered reports of scours in calves were cited. Pasture and range condition rated 5 percent very poor, 15 percent poor, 41 percent fair, 35 percent good, and 4 percent excellent. Recent rains and warmer temperatures have aided pasture regrowth.