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Rain Rain Go Away

Source: Wikimedia Commons

by Ben Nuelle

Rain hampered much of planting in Iowa last week and with Wednesday’s weather maker and more rain on the way looks like farmers will wait it out through the weekend.

Only, 40 percent of Iowa’s corn is in the ground but the National Agriculture Statistics Service says we’re still ahead of schedule.

USDA’s NASS report says farmers are six days ahead of last year and 11 days ahead of the five year average.

Rock Rapids farmer Dean Meyer says the rain slowed him down quite a bit this last week.

“Normally we try to get started the 18th through the 20th of April. As you can see now, if we get pushed with rain to next week, we are going to get pushed a little beyond average,” Meyer says.

Meyer farms in Lyon County and says he’s only planted around 5 percent or less and says that’s the case with most farmers around him. He says trying to offset low commodity prices with the cost of production is a concern for this year but says saturated soil is the number one thing on his mind right now.

“We’ve had over 70 inches of snow all winter, rain last fall, and a dry spell in March but we’re continuing to get rain now so we’re starting to get a little concerned with saturation here,” Meyer says.

He says if the forecast holds true, he probably won’t make it into the field until next Wednesday.

According the USDA, Top soil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 5 percent short, 89 percent adequate, and 6 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 0 percent very short, 3 percent short, 90 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus.