Ag News

De Jong: Planting Well Ahead Of Normal

Northwest Iowa — Farmers made some record progress putting crops in the ground last week. Warm, dry weather allowed the wheels to roll on tractors and planters, and area farmers now have most of their beans in the ground. Thirty-nine-percent of the expected corn planting got done last week, and it is the first time in several years that three-quarters of the corn crop was in the ground by May 3rd.

Iowa State University Extension Crop Specialist Joel De Jong says many of the farmers he’s talked to have either finished planting, or are getting close.

(As above) “You really have to look to find a field of corn that hasn’t been planted yet,” De Jong says. “And if you take a look, I would guess about three-quarters of the soybean fields are planted right now,”

De Jong says the dry soil conditions have been excellent for the planting, but he says we could use a little more rainfall sometime soon.

(As above) “The lack of moisture is a concern for those who have put in surface nitrogen, or used pre-emergent herbicides — as they need rain to get those things to work properly in the soil.”

He says many of the earlier planted crops have had enough moisture to get them growing and poke out of the soil.

(As Above) “I would say maybe ten to 15, maybe even 20 percent of the corn is spiking, if you look closely in those fields,” according to De Jong. “You can’t really see a lot of it if you drive by at normal driving speed. If you start looking in fields, you start to see those spikes up there.” 

He says the soybeans that are just getting planted need the water to get them going.

(As above) )”We really could use some rainfall to try to get that soybean crop emerged,” he says.

The extension crops specialist says area alfalfa and oats crops are doing well, but like with the corn and soybeans, rain would be welcomed. De Jong says they have set up traps to determine the likely severity and infestation of different crop pests like cutworms, and haven’t yet seen any indications of an infestation.