Regional update: A slow start to #Plant19 (April 22 to April 29)

April 29, 2019 3:43 PM
Blog Post

Like #Plant18, #Plant19 seems to be off to a slow start. Approximately 21% of the expected corn crop and 3% of the soybean crop in Iowa has been planted according to the April 29 Iowa Crop Progress and Condition Report. Planting progress does vary across the state. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach field agronomists share reports on what they are seeing and hearing in their respective regions across the state with field conditions and planting progress.

Northwest Iowa

Joel DeJong (Region 1): “We did get a little field work done in the NW region last week. More work was completed south of Highway 20 than north. Manure hauling and fertilizer application were the primary activities. Some planting south of Highway 20. Close to zero corn planted north, with little fieldwork done as well. Those that held back on Friday (April 26) felt pretty good about that Saturday (April 27) when the ground was white. Alfalfa is greening up, but some older alfalfa stands did not handle the winter very well.”

Paul Kassel (Region 2): “The following is a very informal survey of planting progress in my area of the state.

Town Corn % Soybean %
Garner 30 1
Algona 40 0
Cylinder 17 0
Rake 19 5
Spirit Lake 17 0
Linn Grove 1 0
Spencer 7 1
Schaller 20 5
Rolfe 50 5
Odebolt 67 20

Lots of field work progress south of Highway 3 in my area.  There has also been a lot of discussion on ‘imbibitional chill injury’ to corn planted last Friday April 26. It should be okay since it was planted into fairly warm conditions – but time – and emerged plants - will tell the real story. One comment from a farmer was that ‘some guys started beans first around here'.  Another farmer made the comment that ‘this is a typical Iowa spring – farm one day and then a get a week off’."

Most plants have been sidelined since Friday night (April 26) in NW Iowa. Photo by Paul Kassel.

North Central Iowa

Angie Rieck-Hinz (Region 3): “Field work and planting started April 16 and continued on and off (depending on rain) until April 26.  For the week of April 22-29, we had 0.6 inches of rain at Rockwell City to 1.94 inches at Hampton. The 4-inch soil temperature at the Northern Research Farm was 38 degrees at 8 a.m. on Sunday April 28, the soil temperature at Story City was 47 degrees at 8 a.m. on Monday, April 29.  At the southern end of my area I would estimate 75% planted, but along the Hwy 3 corridor more like 60% planted west of I-35.  Planting progress is localized because of rainfall amounts.  I would suggest keeping an eye on germination for corn planted on Friday April 26th as we experienced cold and wet conditions over this past weekend.”

Rainfall totals across the state from April 22 to April 29. Source:

Northeast Iowa

Terry Basol (Region 4): “For my part of Northeast Iowa this past week has provided a mix of weather conditions, which is challenging growers in making much planting progress. The week of April 22 started off really nice coming off of Easter weekend, allowing a lot of field preparation to occur with dry fertilizer and herbicide applications as well as nitrogen applications including anhydrous ammonia. Hay ground was also prepared and seeded this past week. As we got to the latter part of the week, there was some corn acres planted, but a very low percentage due to the forecasted cool, wet conditions for the weekend (April 26 to April 28). According to the Iowa Mesonet, the NE IA Research and Demonstration Farm near Nashua received about 1.7 inches of rain from April 21 to April 28.

Southwest and West Central

Aaron Saeugling (Region 10): “Approximately 50 to 60% of the corn is in the ground and 20 to 30% of the soybean crop is in the ground. It appears to me we will have a few more corn acres compared to soybean acres.  Seeing winter kill in alfalfa. Pastures have been slow to grow. Farmers on the Missouri river bottom need more dry weather to gain access to some fields.” 

East Central, Southeast, and South Central

Rebecca Vittetoe (Region 8): “Field activities really picked up the week of April 15. Planting progress is further ahead in my southern counties (60-75% of the corn planted and 15-20% of soybeans planted) compared to my more northern counties (15-20% corn planted and 10 to 15% of soybeans planted). The wet weather is putting a halt to field activities for the time being. On the forage side, been dealing with winter kill issues in alfalfa. Pastures are starting to grow, but they have been slow to come on this spring. Check out this resource on boosting pasture productivity:boostingpastureproductivity.pdf.”

Virgil Schmitt (Region 9): “In general it has been wet and cold with a few intermittent warm days scattered in there. Some corn has been planted, but most people are waiting for good better conditions. There are concerns about imbibitional chilling of corn that has been planted.”

Josh Michel (Region 11): “Over the last 7 days much of the south-central part of the state has received 1 to 2 inches of rain (not accounting for what feel overnight from Sunday, April 28 into Monday, April 29). Farmers have been busy the last 7 to 10 days with fieldwork and planting. Corn planting runs about 40 to 60% planted in this part of the state and soybean planting is in that 10 to 25% window. Field calls have included winter injury in alfalfa fields, cover crop termination, nitrogen considerations, pasture fertilizer recommendations and management, and pre and post herbicide program considerations.”

Check out the map below to find your local ISU Extension field agronomist and find their contact information here!


Rebecca Vittetoe Field Agronomist in EC Iowa

Rebecca Vittetoe is an extension field agronomist in east central Iowa. Educational programs are available for farmers, agribusiness, pesticide applicators, and certified crop advisors.

Areas of expertise include agronomy, field crop production and management of corn, soybeans, and...