Slow Start to Crop Progress

The last week was rainy and statewide there was only about half a day good for fieldwork according to the first Iowa Crop Progress report of the year.

Topsoil moisture levels is at 67 percent adequate and 26 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture is at 72 percent adequate and 20 percent surplus. Because of that, only six percent of oats are in the ground, a week behind the five year average.

Livestock conditions are good and calving is already done for some cattle operations.

State Climatologist Harry Hillaker says the rain and cloud cover has been tough for farmers. It has not been unusually cold, there just hasn't been a chance to dry the ground.

He says, "Good news is south central, southeast Iowa seeing quite a bit of rain in the last couple weeks. Had a very dry growing season last year so really could have used a boost coming into this growing season. Looks like they, at least, got a good start at that. So, overall, things not too bad at least at this point. Although, certainly, a slow start to things."

Hillaker adds the turn toward warmer and sunnier weather could give farmers a chance to get some planting done in the next week.

He adds we're in a neutral position between El Nino and La Nina weather events and the weather in the past month points to better rain predictions looking toward the summer.