Farmers are ahead on planting and behind on moisture
Dry soil, fields needing moisture, corn generally is good, wheat yield questionable, what else can be said for the Cornbelt spring of 2012? Planting was off to an earlier than normal start, but a mid-April freeze left corn a bit ragged, now soybeans are ragged as well, but needing moisture for better growth or to finish planting. That sums up the weekly report, but interesting details follow..…
USDA has released its weekly summary of planting progress, with the first crop condition report for the young corn crop. Additional details have been included from the individual state reports.
ILLINOIS: In the past week, 6.7 days were suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture is 33 percent short and 64 percent adequate with subsoil moisture about the same. Statewide precipitation averaged just 0.04 inches, 0.89 inches below the average. Planting progress for corn has reached 99 percent statewide, 20 points above the 5-year average of 79 percent. Corn emerged has reached 88 percent, 33 points above the 5-year average. Corn condition is rated at 79 percent good to excellent. Soybeans planting increased from 44 percent to 80 percent over the past week, well above the 5-year average of 37 percent. Some fields still left to be planted are too dry to plant until they receive rain. A significant part of the winter wheat crop has also begun to turn yellow at 45 percent. Winter wheat conditions remained nearly the same 80 percent good to excellent.
INDIANA: 6.5 days were suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture is 36 percent short, 52 percent adequate. Precipitation in the past week ranged from 0.0 to 0.19 inches. Warm, windy days allowed some farmers to finish planting but also placed stress on field crops as topsoil is becoming very dry in many areas. 97 percent of the corn acreage has been planted compared 66 percent for the 5-year average. 87 percent of corn acreage has emerged. 87 percent of the intended soybean acreage has been planted compared with 35 percent for the 5-year average. 62 percent of soybean acreage has emerged, compared with 12 percent for the 5-year average. 93 percent of the winter wheat acreage has headed compared with 53 percent for the 5-year average. Condition of winter wheat, still standing, declined slightly and is now rated 70 percent good to excellent.
IOWA: Days suitable for fieldwork totaled 6.6. With areas in Northwest Iowa receiving at least an inch of rain, it was the only district with less than six days suitable for fieldwork. The statewide average precipitation was 0.15 inch while normal for the week is 1.05 inches. Topsoil moisture levels 37 percent short, 55 percent adequate. Iowa farmers took advantage of another warm and dry week and planted crops at a rapid pace. Rain is greatly needed over much of central and eastern Iowa where no precipitation of consequence has occurred in two weeks. The recent dryness has been exacerbated by frequent strong winds, low humidity and above normal temperatures statewide. Corn planting now stands at 98 percent complete. A few farmers have reported having to replant some corn fields damaged by late April showers. 8 percent of the corn crop has emerged and is rated 8 percent good to excellent. Soybean planting is 85 percent complete, ahead of the five-year average of 60 percent. 26 percent of the expected soybean acreage has emerged, ahead of the five-year average of 13 percent.