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Ask Mr. Answer Person: "How far behind is spring planting this year?"

Posted: Tue, May 7, 2013 5:09 PM
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Alan asks Mr. Answer Pe3rson when area farmers might start their planting this season.  How will this compare with last year, when temperatures were so unusually warm?  Were there any farmers planting crops in March last year?"

Mr. Answer Person has checked with Decorah-based Iowa State University Extension Agronomist Brian Lang, who recommends the information compiled by the National Agricultural Statistics Service http://www.nass.usda.gov/Charts_and_Maps/Crop_Progress_&_Condition/2012/IA_2012.pdf

The NASS charts crop progress every year for corn, soybean, oats and pasture.  It's a state average, not divided up county by county, but it gives a reasonable comparison for those crops with regard to planting, emergence, flowering, maturity and harvest.

Brian says 10 percent of corn in Iowa was planted by April 16th last year.  By comparison, it took until May 1st in 2011 before 10 percent of the corn was planted. 

Brian concludes, "This spring with colder than normal soil temperatures and a few days of rain, which we need, is setting up for another slow start in the field.  But it never seems to take very long for farmers to catch up once the weather turns favorable."

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