Corn Planting Gains Ground

What a difference a week can make!  Iowa farmers can plant slightly more than 20 percent of our state’s corn acres in one good week, according to ISU Extension Corn Specialist Roger Elmore.  This figure is based on the five-year average, which includes one of the fastest planting seasons on record, 2010, and also one of the slowest on record, 2008.

Only 3% of Iowa’s corn acreage had been planted compared with 61% at this time last year, according to the April 25 crop report by Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey.  In this week’s crop report, however, reportedly 8% of the state’s corn acres have been planted.

Lots of seed went in the ground over the weekend, thanks to a few dry days with temperatures in the 60s and 70s.  Even better news… soil temperatures statewide are averaging 52 degrees and the short-term forecast calls for a few more dry days with rainfall forecast for the week’s end.

Even if rainfall delays planting later this week, Elmore says there’s still plenty of time to plant corn without significant yield losses. There is no need now to switch hybrid maturities for May planting.  Adapted hybrids adjust to later planting by shortening the time necessary to reach silking.  To view Elmore’s research on the effect of planting date on days to maturing (R6), click here.