Regional update from ISU field agronomists: Planting progress, corn emergence, and cool, wet conditions

May 4, 2016 9:39 AM
Blog Post

As of May 1, the USDA reported 57% of corn had been planted in Iowa. See below for area conditions and planting progress around the state from Iowa State University Extension and Outreach field agronomists. ISU Extension and Outreach specialists provide recommendations and resources based on current conditions here.

Joel DeJong: “In the NW corner of Iowa, we lag much of the state on planting progress. During the middle of April, we had some good planting days and conditions, and some neighborhoods went at it hard during that window. Others waited until a little later on the calendar. We have had abnormally wet weather since that time, and have had no field days for many since then; except maybe a day of planting in some areas over the weekend of April 23. Much of the area has received 5 to 6 inches of rain since the rain began. I believe it will be Thursday or Friday before planters start to roll in large numbers. I estimate about 25% of the total acres are planted in the nine counties I serve, if you averaged it all together today. But, the forecast looks hopeful, and a lot of progress can be made in a short period of time!

Alfalfa measured 18 inches tall in Plymouth County on Monday of this week. With good weather, it might not be long before harvest of alfalfa might start. However, planting progress might push that back a little on many operations.”

Paul Kassel: “Winnebago, Hancock, Kossuth, eastern Emmet, eastern Palo Alto have 95%+ corn planted and 15% for soybean. Most of Dickinson, Clay, western Emmet, western Palo Alto, and most of Buena Vista is 35% on corn and 0-1% on soybean. It has dried well the past two days, but a lot of the farmers are saying it will be Friday before this area is back in the field. This area had 5-6 inches of rain since April 18."

North Central
Angie Rieck-Hinz: “With rain last Wednesday, and again all day Saturday and part of Sunday, we are definitely out of the field for a few days. I anticipate we may get in the field again on Friday in some places, but may not get back in to the field in some places before the next forecast rain. My nine counties ranged from 1.1 to 2.45 inches of rain. Worth and Cerro Gordo areas saw less rain and the further south and west you go across my nine counties the more rain. I would say that we are 90% planted for corn, and I agree with the latest crop report and say we are 7-10% planted on beans. I would say we are 20% emerged on corn.”

Terry Basol: “I would estimate that most of the corn is planted for this area, with a few acres left to be planted. For the earliest planted fields, some are just beginning to emerge and the forecasted warm weather will certainly help with this process. There are some soybeans that have been planted, but not sure at what percent. Precipitation information (for the ISU NE Research and Demonstration farm near Nashua) from the Mesonet shows that for the month of April through May 1 rainfall was just shy of 2.5 inches (actual amount was 2.47 inches). The bulk of the precipitation occurred over the week of April 25th, where we received 1.62 inches."

Mark Johnson: "My nine counties in central Iowa have had about 5.25 total inches of rain since planting began on April 13. Some counties received more rain than others. On May 2, eight out of nine counties still had 50°F or above soil temperatures. Pleasant surprise given the cool air conditions. Here is a look at our GDD accumulation so far for central Iowa in my April 28 newsletter."

Southwest and West Central
Aaron Saeugling: “In southwest Iowa, corn is 50 to 60% planted with about only 5 to 10% of soybeans planted. We have saturated conditions now, so we will not be back in the field for two to three days. Pastures look very good and first crop alfalfa is looking excellent. We need dry and sunny weather for a few weeks to finish planting. First planted corn is starting to emerge and the forecasted sunshine will be greatly appreciated this week.”

Michael Witt: "In west central Iowa, the area experienced rainfall ranging from 1.5-4 inches with locally heavier amounts. This has caused ponding in low field areas but no major flooding concerns. Temperatures have also ranged on the cooler side which has allowed for slower crop emergence on early planted corn. There are some fields emerged and can be visually identified but most are starting to spike. With weather turning warmer and drier next week there will be an increase in planting of remaining corn and soybeans across the area. An estimate of around 50 to 60% of the corn acres in the region are planted with smaller areas of higher or lower amounts as well. General consensus from local farmers is that once fields dry out by mid to late week, depending on soil conditions, both corn and soybeans will be ready to go into the ground."

Clarke McGrath: "In SW/WC Iowa, we are finally back in the field in many areas after anywhere from a little over an inch to 5+ in a few spots over the last week or so. Sprayers got back to work mid-week, although we are all dodging wet spots and ponded areas. Planting got a small start mid-week, with Thursday and Friday looking like big days. Hopefully the rain will hold off Saturday (around a 30-40% chance), but it does look like Sunday/Monday rains are likely so we’ll be out of the field again. Corn will be probably around 80% or more planted by the end of this week, and if we luck out and the rains are delayed we could push 90%. There are maybe 20% of the soybeans in by today, but that will ramp up the next few days as well since we have a fair number of growers done with corn. We are seeing a lot of corn spiking, with some V1 and reports of some V2 corn out there."

Southeast and East Central
Rebecca Vittetoe: “In my travels I am starting to see corn spiking through the ground. Typically, corn requires 90 to 120 Growing Degree Days (GDD) from planting to emergence. Since GDD are calculated based on air temperatures and do not factor in soil temperatures, soil moisture conditions, planting depth, tillage systems, or residue cover, this range may vary some.” Read more.

Virgil Schmitt: “Field work ended after Tuesday last week due to rain. While rainfall was frequent, totals for Tuesday through Sunday were generally less than 2.5 inches, so there was little flooding or erosion. There was some minor ponding, but those have mostly disappeared as of this morning. Corn planting is about 2/3 complete south of Highway 92 and about 50% complete elsewhere in my territory. I went to Burlington on Sunday and saw many corn fields at V1 growth stage. A few soybeans have been planted south of Highway 92.”

Meaghan Anderson: “What happens to soybeans that have already been planted in these (now) cool, wet soils? If soybeans are planted shortly before a cold rainfall, imbibitional chilling is a concern just like with corn.  Soil temperatures may drop below 50°F in some areas of east central Iowa. The likelihood of chilling injury should be fairly low in east central Iowa but will be greater for those soybeans planted <48 hours before a cold rain. Find out more about imbibitional chilling and cold stress from Iowa State University and the University of Nebraska."