Planting with the *Clouds*
This week's crop report from the USDA shows Iowa farmers spent very little time in the field planting corn last week. Only 23 percent of the expected corn acreage is in the ground. That's nine days ahead of last year but 10 days later than the five year average. The cool wet spring is improving soil moisture reserves with only two percent of the state's topsoil now considered short of moisture.
Wayne Johnson farms near Forest City in North Central Iowa's Winnebago County. He says he is usually finished planting corn by May 5th, but the last two years, snow in that part of the state kept him on the sidelines.
Johnson uses a data program on a computer device known as a Cloud. The Cloud had a glitch last week and prevented him from using his planter for several hours. He says "in the 1950s we just used a wrench and an oil can, not a cloud."