Farmers in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and Illinois are catching up on their planting while rain continues to slow field work in South Dakota.


Iowa officials say its farmers have met or surpassed last year's quick pace of planting corn and soybeans, but now the state needs some warm and dry weather.

The weekly crop report released on Monday shows 98 percent of the corn crop has been planted, which matches last year's progress and is ahead of the five-average of 94 percent. Soybean planting is 78 percent complete, ahead of 72 percent in 2010 and the average of 68 percent.

There were just four days of fieldwork statewide last week.

State Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says Iowa needs some warm and dry weather to help the crops emerge. He says most of last week's rain wasn't heavy, but some areas reported hail. Tornadoes were reported in six counties on Sunday.


A report from the Illinois Department of Agriculture shows that the heavy rains and flooding haven't done much to slow Illinois' planting season.

Monday's crop report noted that 90 percent of Illinois' corn fields have been planted. That's ahead of the five-year average of 85 percent. The state Agriculture Department also says 47 percent of soybeans have been planted — compared to 46 percent at the same time last year.

Peoria County Farm Bureau manager Patrick Kirchhofer tells the Journal Star that the news is even better for farmers in central Illinois. Kirchhofer says 95 percent of corn and 75 percent of soybeans are planted in Peoria County.


Several days of dry weather amid the soggy spring has allowed Minnesota farmers to make significant progress in planting their crops.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports Monday there were 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork last week. That's the highest number so far this year.

The spring wheat crop is now 80 percent planted, up 41 percentage points from the previous week. Corn is 81 percent planted, up 34 points. Soybeans were 38 percent planted, up from 9 percent planted the week before.

However, the soil remains very wet. Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 35 percent surplus, 64 percent adequate and 1 percent short.

The statewide average temperature was 57.3 degrees, nearly average for the week.


Nebraska farmers are keeping pace with planting corn, despite last week's heavy rain that caused flooding and soil erosion in some isolated areas.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says Monday that corn planting is 94 percent complete, which is on par with last year and the average. Soybean planting is 68 percent complete, ahead of last year's 60 percent and the average of 64 percent.

The USDA says farmers took advantage of the dry conditions during the first part of last week and made good progress before storms and cooler temperatures arrived.

The USDA estimates that 55 percent of Nebraska's wheat crop is in good or excellent shape. The average is 60 percent.

South Dakota

South Dakota farmers made progress in planting corn last week before rain stopped field work after less than four days of suitable weather.

The Agricultural Statistics Service said in its weekly report Monday that 73 percent of the corn had been planted, up from 44 percent a week earlier but still behind the five-year average of 78 percent.

Soybean planting is 21 percent complete, compared to the average of 36 percent.

Less than 10 percent of the sorghum or sunflowers are planted.

Seeding of small grains also trails the five-year average at 89 percent for spring wheat, 84 percent for oats, and 62 percent for barley.