Calendar pages move, but planters don’t
USDA’s weekly crop progress and condition report was almost a re-run of the prior week, with corn planting progress increasing only from 2 percent last week to 4 percent for the latest report.
Among the three-I states, Indiana made the most progress, moving up to 1 percent complete. Illinois remained at 1 percent, and Iowa farmers have yet to open the machine shed door.
Nationally, the 18 major corn growing states typically would be at 16 percent complete, and were at 26 percent complete at this time a year ago. Regarding wheat, only 8 percent is headed versus 42 percent in 2012, and crop conditions eroded by a percent, with good-to excellent dropping from 36 percent last week to 35 percent this week.
The acreage in poor to very poor grew from 31 percent last week to 33 percent for the latest period. And with heavy rains in the mid to latter part of last week, soil moistures have moved into the surplus category.
The heavy rains along with the below average temperatures resulted in only 0.3 days suitable for fieldwork last week and very little progress in spring fieldwork. Topsoil moisture increased dramatically this week and was rated at 35 percent adequate and 65 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated at 5 percent short, 68 percent adequate, and 27 percent surplus. Cold soil temperatures also continue to be another factor delaying corn planting. Corn planting stayed at 1 percent planted compared to the five-year average of 24 percent. Winter wheat conditions were rated at 3 percent poor, 21 percent fair, 63 percent good, and 13 percent excellent.
Farmers in south western and south central counties were able to make very limited progress planting corn. However, their efforts did push planted acreage to one percent complete which is approximately two weeks behind the 5-year average pace. One percent of the intended corn acreage has been planted at this time compared with 43 percent last year and 16 percent for the 5-year average. Only a few scattered fields of soybeans have been planted thus far this spring. Thirty-six percent of the winter wheat acreage is jointed compared with 67 percent last year and 40 percent for the 5-year average. Winter wheat condition is rated 68 percent good to excellent compared with 76 percent last year at this time. Topsoil moisture is 60 percent surplus and 40 percent adequate.
Wet conditions in Iowa during the week ending April 21, 2013 continued to limit fieldwork according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Snow was received in northern Iowa, while precipitation was mostly rain in southern Iowa. The additional moisture did help to improve both top and subsoil moisture levels. Statewide there was an average of 0.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week. Topsoil moisture levels rated 3 percent very short, 6 percent short, 60 percent adequate and 31 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 14 percent very short, 32 percent short and 48 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus. No report on corn planting
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