Has stalled a bit. Wet field conditions and scattered rains limited Iowa farmers to 3.9 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending May 20, 2018, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Topsoil moisture levels rated 2 percent very short, 5 percent short, 78 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 4 percent very short, 10 percent short, 74 percent adequate and 12 percent surplus. South central Iowa reported the lowest levels of subsoil moisture with over two-thirds short to very short.
For the first time this spring we are now behind last year. Iowa growers have planted 86 percent of the expected corn crop, 5 days behind last year. The north central district planted nearly half of their expected corn crop this past week. Fifty-three percent of the crop has emerged, one day behind last year.
Soybean growers have 58 percent of the expected crop planted, 2 days ahead of the 5-year average. One-quarter of the expected soybean crop across Iowa was planted this past week. Northwest and north central Iowa remain well behind the other districts with less than one-third of their soybean crop planted. Eighteen percent of soybeans have emerged, two days ahead of last year.
Nearly all the expected oat crop has been planted, over 1 week behind last year and 4 days behind average. Eighty-six percent of the crop has emerged, 5 days behind last year.
Hay conditions improved to 64 percent good to excellent. Pasture conditions also improved, reaching 56 percent good to excellent. Warmer temperatures and rain have promoted good pasture and hay growth.
Overall, livestock conditions are good with little stress, but muddy feedlots continue to be an issue.