Iowa Farmers Make Progress on Planting During Dry Spell

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Planting Update

IOWA — With most of the week good for fieldwork, Iowa farmers got a lot of planting done. According to the Iowa Crop Progress Report, half of the states expected corn crop was planted last week, with 69% of the crop in the field overall. That’s nine days ahead of the five year average. With warmer temperatures, there are scattered reports of corn emerging.

Nearly a third of Iowa beans were planted last week, totaling 43% planted for the year. That’s 12 days ahead of normal. Almost all of the oat crop is planted and pasture conditions are rated 41% percent good or excellent.

Unseasonably Dry

  For two weeks it’s been unseasonably dry. Topsoil and subsoil moisture levels are above 50% short to very short. There have been some measurable rains in southeast Iowa but the rest of the state was below normal.

  State Climatologist Justin Glisan says that means the temperature becomes more important. The cooler temperatures two weeks ago helped mitigate moisture stress. But in the last week it became much warmer – 10-12 degrees above average. “So when you’re seeing temperature swings like that, you also see lots of windy days. And that’s what you’ve seen in April which is the windiest month climatologically. A lot of low relative humidity. Warmer and windier days and that’s where you can see topsoil start to dry out,” said Glisan. Looking at the next two weeks, Glisan adds short term outlooks look good. There are higher probabilities of cooler temperatures and wetter conditions.

A Look at the Markets

Markets are impacted by the dryness. Analyst Don Roose has the details:

“The leader to the upside continues to be the corn market, pushed into contract highs today, the dominant issue continues to be the crop in Brazil the second crop continues to erode as far as the size of the crop and as it continues to erode we add more risk premium to the market and also continue to focus on the soil moisture. Meantime Argentina corn and Ukraine corn remain the cheapest corn in the world, so that’s anchoring the rally a bit. But we’re still trying to reach areas that ration supplies on corn and soybeans. The cattle market continues to struggle in the futures market and the cash market. Market’s on the defense despite the boxed beef continues to move to the second highest levels in history only last year did we have higher prices in the boxed beef. Packer margins close to 700 dollars a head. It’s all about the retail price pushing up to levels are we going to see some consumer resistance probably at these levels. The hog market trying to trade a bit like the cattle, but not really respecting it. We did push into contract highs yesterday follow through a bit to the upside today. Supplies out in the country remain very tight primarily due to the disease issue we’ve had, also last year’s COVID has more liquidation.

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