A week of mostly wet weather was welcome in the dry fields of Northwest Iowa this past week, but seven inches of precipitation was added to the already drenched fields in Southern Iowa—and that was too much.
Corn and soybeans are in mostly good to excellent condition for Iowa as a whole for 2010, but many acres in south central and southeast Iowa are in poor shape. That's according to the weekly Iowa Crops and Weather Report released June 7 by the Iowa office of USDA's National Ag Statistics Service in Des Moines.
This planting season has been worse than the very wet 2008 and 2009 growing seasons for farmers in some counties in southeast and south central Iowa, says Mark Carlton, an Iowa State University Extension field agronomist at Albia. "Most of the soybeans got planted this year, unlike last year," he says. "But the corn has damped off due to seedling diseases and wet weather this spring. That's the big problem. There is a lot of replanting going on."
A lot of corn being replanted in southeast and south central Iowa
Carlton estimates that 60% of the corn in Lee county in Iowa's southeast corner is being replanted this spring. He says in several other counties nearby, stretching up to Wapello at Ottumwa, around 30% of the corn is being replanted.
Meanwhile, in the rest of Iowa this past week and into this week, a majority of the farmers have completed planting and are focused on harvesting hay, spraying herbicides, and planting or replanting soybeans. While showers soaked southern Iowa, rain was welcome in dry areas of northwest Iowa.
"Scattered rain was received this past weekend in north central Iowa," says John Holmes, ISU Extension field agronomist at Clarion. "Reports of 2 to 3 inches of rainfall were received in Wright and Franklin Counties. Yet, other farmers in nearby counties were able to be in the field over the weekend. Farmers were applying postemergence herbicides in Cerro Gordo and Worth Counties."
Some bean fields have had emergence problems due to crusting
Corn has really grown the past week and a half in north central Iowa, notes Holmes. Most corn is now in the V5 to V7 stage or about 18 inches tall. Agronomists and farmers are finding a few scattered infestations of black cutworms. "Farmers have watched corn recover from frost injury received in early May," he adds. "Some of the severely twisted plants never fully recovered, which is a little disappointing. I thought they would grow new leaves and recover."
Soybeans are at the V2-V3 growth stage in north central Iowa. Some bean fields have had emergence problems due to soil crusting and cold, wet soils. A few fields and areas within fields have been replanted, says Holmes. No insect feeding has been seen on soybeans so far this year.
"We are finding a few soybean aphids," he says. "As soybeans begin to grow rapidly, you should expect to see high pH soil areas showing iron deficiency chlorosis symptoms. Watch for green areas under the wheel tracks in those areas of fields that have high pH soils. Now is also the time to dig some soybean roots and check for soybean cyst nematode feeding on soybean plants."
Most of Iowa corn is emerged, 95% of bean crop now planted
As of June 7, almost all of Iowa's corn and bean crops have been planted.
Corn and soybeans are in mostly good condition throughout the state, though many acres in south central and southeast Iowa are in poor condition.
Last week's weather came as a mix of rain, thunderstorms, sunshine and tornadoes throughout the state. "On Tuesday June 1, the most widespread severe weather outbreak so far this year saw 21 counties reporting either high winds or large hail," says Harry Hillaker, state climatologist with the Iowa Department of Agriculture in Des Moines. "Baseball size hail was reported in O'Brien County in northwest Iowa and Ringgold County in southwest Iowa. An F2 tornado caused substantial damage north of Mount Ayr in southwest Iowa. This tornado was Iowa's latest start to the tornado season since 1978."
The weekly weather and crop report is available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture site at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA's site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia.