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Rain Gauge

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The majority of Iowa farmers are seeing wet conditions preventing them form getting in the field. (Joe Murphy, Iowa Soybean Association)
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By Easton Kuboushek, ISA communications specialist

According to the bible, Noah’s ark was about 300 cubits long, 50 cubits wide. No one is exactly sure how long a cubit is, but it feels ironically close to the amount of crops planted by Iowa farmers this spring, given the recent rain.

Spotty showers are keeping most farmers out of the fields and slowing #Plant17. The USDA estimates corn planting to be at only 2 percent, well behind last year’s progress which was 11 percent, according to the Iowa Crop Progress and Condition Report released April 17. Oats stand at 42 percent but both corn and oats are below the five-year average. No soybeans have been planted.

The Iowa Crop Progress and Condition reports are released weekly by the USDA National Agricultural Statistical Service from April to October. The full reports can be found here.

However, ISA farmer-members aren’t too worried yet. ISA checked-in with farmers around the state to gauge rainfall and planting progress.

Northeast Iowa

"We got almost an inch again last night so things are slow. I'd say about 60 percent of anhydrous is pulled so there's a ways to go there. But the oats and cover crops are up and looking great. Otherwise that's about it, we don't have any planting going around here but that's normal. No drastic worries yet." — Rick Juchems, ISA director, Nashua  

Southeast Iowa

"We were pretty wet up until about 10 days ago then it started to dry out. We’re not quite as wet as some parts of the state. There are farmers who have a bunch of corn in already and some who haven’t started but the weather looks good through the weekend so I imagine there will be a lot of field work done over the next few days." — Lindsay Greiner, ISA director, Keota

Lindsey Greiner of Keota is one of the few farmers that has been able to get in the field so far this year. (Joe Murphy, Iowa Soybean Association)

Northwest Iowa

“Everything is pretty much ready to go, we just need the weather now. We got another ½ inch last night but hopefully we can get ideal drying conditions and get in the field this weekend. Praying for 3-4 days of sun and wind.” — Andrew Lauver, ISA farmer-member, Lake City

Southwest Iowa  

"There's not much going on down here at the moment – it's been too wet. We didn't get much rain yesterday, thankfully but there's hardly anything done. West of me, as you get closer to the Missouri River, there's more fieldwork done but we had 10 inches of rain from the end of March through beginning of April. But the forecast looks good over the next 5-7 days so we're thinking we'll get going soon – I'm optimistic. " — Bill Shipley, ISA director, Nodaway

For permission to republish articles or to request high-res photos contact Aaron Putze at

©2017 Iowa Soybean Association On-Farm Network®. All rights reserved. On-Farm Network® is a registered trademark of the Iowa Soybean Association, Ankeny, IA.Portions of some On-Farm Network trials are paid for in total or in part by the soybean checkoff.

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August 2017 Contact Ann Clinton for past publications.