Soggy Fields Slow North Iowa Planting

May 16, 2018

North Iowa farm fields, intended for growing corn this summer, aren’t yet planted. Hundreds of acres—mostly in the northern tier of counties adjacent to the Minnesota border—have ponds from April snows and several inches of early May rain.

Earlier this week, USDA’s crop update said three-quarters of North Iowa’s intended corn acreage is unplanted.  That contrasts with the southern two-thirds of the state where 79 percent is planted.  Corn plants are emerging in 26 percent of the state’s acreage.

Credit Dean Borg/IPR

Statewide, one-third of the soybean acreage is planted.

Iowa State University agronomist Paul Kassel says North Iowa farmers are already trading in corn seed for later-maturing varieties in exchange for corn that will mature during a shorter growing season. Kassel, based in Spencer, says North Iowa farmers are facing major decisions during the next two weeks on whether or not to plant seed or seek federal crop insurance payments for weather prevented planting.