A frenzied planting season, but crops are looking fairly good

Farmers this spring season witnessed some stress--inducing weather, where open dates for planting were at a premium. Somehow, Iowans got the crops planted, and, in general, both corn and soybean are off to a fairly good start, all things considered. As of mid-June, growing-season crop degree days are running about 15 percent above the long-term average accumulations statewide. This added heat may have helped crops compensate some for the less than perfect planting conditions.

Heavy rains were the standard in large parts of southern, western, and central Iowa. For eastern Iowa, rainfall has been scant, but fortunately, we entered the growing season with decent soil moisture reserves.

Since the start of June, rainfall has been slight, and farmers in most of Iowa would now appreciate some rain. The biggest management issue for corn and soybean production in mid-June includes the control of runaway weeds. Also, plant establishment in some corn fields also has been difficult because seeds were placed in less than ideal soil environments. This is especially true for corn planted during the second opening or window (see "2007: Tri-modal planting dates for corn," on pages 182-184). To sum it up, so far, so good, but there is a lot of season to go.

Accumulated base: 50 °F degree days (departure from normal). Italics: Total rainfall and rainfall departures from May 1 through June 17, 2007.Accumulated base: 50 °F degree days (departure from normal). Italics: Total rainfall and rainfall departures from May 1 through June 17, 2007.

This article originally appeared on page 189 of the IC-498(15) -- June 18, 2007 issue.

Updated 06/22/2007 - 12:53pm