Iowa’s spring planting season continues to be delayed, now falling well behind recent years and the five-year average after several rounds of heavy rain and severe weather prevented many from getting into the fields over the warmer weekend.
Average 4-inch soil temperatures remain below the 50-degree target to begin planting corn in Northern Iowa, and while southern and southeast Iowa have finally warmed up, planting is only just getting underway.
Monday’s crop progress report from the USDA didn’t even put a percentage on amount of acres planted through April 24th. For comparison, in 2021, 20 percent of Iowa’s corn crop was already in the ground at this point, with 27 percent in the ground in North Central Iowa, where soil temperatures and growing degree days are well short of targets. Even more starkly, even last year’s 20 percent progress still fell a day behind the 5-year average.
Now, as the calendar is set to turn to May, more rain in the forecast could continue to frustrate farmers, even in areas where ground temperatures have finally hit acceptable levels. Showers and storms on Saturday could bring another soaking rain with widespread totals potentially at an inch or more, with even more rain and storms possible in the long term, arriving Tuesday or Wednesday next week.