Despite the late start to #Plant18, especially in northern Iowa, planting has nearly wrapped up with corn and soybeans across the state. According to Monday’s USDA Crop Progress Report, approximately 91% of Iowa’s corn crop has emerged with 81% of the corn being rated in the good to excellent condition. On the soybean side, approximately 72% of the soybean crop has emerged with 80% being rated good to excellent and 20% being rated poor to fair.
Although it seemed like we had a slow start to the growing season with April being one of the coldest on record, May ended up being the opposite as one of the warmest May’s on record. In fact, growing degree days (GDDs) are actually ahead of normal across the state. Iowa State University Extension and Outreach field agronomists share crop conditions and what they are seeing in their respected regions across the state.
Paul Kassel (Region 2): “Field work progress has been a struggle this spring – but planting is nearing completion. The Memorial Day weekend and the last few days of May saw a lot of the soybean planting completed. There are still a few wet areas that are behind with field work progress. Those areas include an area in north central Emmet County, parts of southern Kossuth County and eastern Palo Alto County. These areas saw some heavy rains on May 23 that caused some ponding and drowned out areas. There will be some replanted corn in those areas.
“Corn development has been fast with the recent warm temperatures. Corn planted on April 29 is at the V6 growth stage. Growing Degree Day (GDD) accumulation is about 105 units above normal for the April 29 planting date and about 90 units above normal for the May 25 planting date. These additional GDDs represent about an extra week’s time in terms of crop development.”
Terry Basol (Region 4): “Growers in NE Iowa have been able to complete corn planting within the last couple of weeks, which has been really nice to see. Corn development ranges in my territory from VE to V2 in the northern area up to V6 in the southern area where planting operations occurred first. Soybean planting progress has been going well throughout the territory, and ranges from just planted up V2 or V3.
“According to the most recent Iowa Crop Progress & Condition report by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), 88% of the soybean acres in NE Iowa have been planted. Both corn and soybeans look very good in the area as long as we can continue timely rain events throughout the growing season. First cutting of alfalfa and hay has begun in the area, and it is estimated to about 35% completed according to NASS.”
Southwest and West Central Iowa
Aaron Saeugling (Region 9): “Corn is doing well after the recent rain. We continue to be on the dry side with rain needed weekly. Compared to 2017 we have less available soil moisture. Corn ranges from V6 to V10. We have seen various issues from sulfur deficiency, wireworms, cutworms, herbicide interactions, and wet planting issues. Soybeans are all planted and emerged. Most soybean are V1 to V3 growth stage. Most farmers will be focusing on spraying the next few weeks.
“There have been a few reports of bean leaf beetle feeding. Overall though, the corn and soybeans are looking pretty good. First cutting hay is baled or will be finished shortly. The hot weather made for some difficulty baling due to shatter loss when baling. Cover crops for forage are harvested or are in the process overall tonnage looks pretty good considering the cold April. I’ve seen a few herbicide carryover issues causing poor growth and forage yields. Pasture conditions were saved by this last rainfall.
“We are going to be on the edge all summer for those areas where pasture was short and not allowed to rest this spring. Farmers in those areas need to consider nitrogen if rainfall is expected after application. If at all possible consider summer annuals for supplemental forage.”
Southeast and East Central Iowa:
Rebecca Vittetoe and Josh Michel (Region 10 and 11): “Rainfall continues to be spotty across SC Iowa. With not replenishing soil moisture from last year, weekly rain is definitely needed as the area is either abnormally dry or in a moderate drought according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Overall though corn and soybeans look good. Most corn is in the V6 to V8 growth stages, and soybeans range mostly range in the V1 to V3 growth stages.
“Most phone calls over the past week have consisted of herbicide carryover (ALS, PPO, and HPPD), stunted and uneven corn, and sulfur deficiency in corn. Post spraying and sidedressing has basically wrapped up in corn and there is a lot of post spraying occurring with soybeans right now. On the forage side, first cutting hay is basically complete. Pasture are looking okay, but consistent rainfalls will be needed to help them going. Pond levels are really low.”
Meaghan Anderson (Region 7): “Most corn is just getting out of the ‘ugly duckling’ stage and reaching V6 to V7 stage, but some corn is still yellowed and uneven. Most phone calls have been on stunted corn due to compaction, variable soils, variation in how quickly corn plants reach nitrogen, or herbicide carryover (ALS and PPO). Soybeans are mostly in the V1 to V3 stage, and most look very healthy with good stands this year.
“GDDs are far ahead of normal in many areas, so continued rainfalls will be important to keep up with the continued heat. Spraying has mostly finished up in corn and is just starting in earnest for soybeans, but weeds seem well-controlled overall so far this spring.”
Virgil Schmitt (Region 8): “Rainfall has been scattered during the last two weeks, ranging from a trace to nearly two inches. First harvest of hay is nearly complete. Many completed harvest with no rain on down hay while others had hay that was rained on several times. Corn is mostly V6 to V7 and generally looking good.
“Flexstar (fomesafen) carryover and S deficiency symptoms have dominated calls. Soybeans are mostly V1 and generally looking good. There are some emergence issues is some areas where there was pounding rain. There was a band of hail in northeast Cedar and Southwest Clinton County. There was little significant damage.”