John Deere tractor with planter

(Photo: Iowa Soybean Association)

Relatively quiet beginning to planting season

April 26, 2023 | Jeff Hutton

Some members of the Iowa Soybean Association’s (ISA) District Advisory Council shared brief insights into planting efforts thus far in 2023.

Late last week, Tony Lem of northern Polk County noted that about 10% of his beans had been planted, but nothing yet on corn. The “conditions are ranging from ideal to plenty wet,” he says. “Hoping to ride out this cold snap.”

In north central Iowa, DAC member Sara Preston says precipitation has hampered efforts, but she is thankful for the moisture.

“Not too much of an update from Kossuth County,” she says. “Last week I think tricked us all. We planted a couple fields of corn last Thursday and Friday. We have a new planter so we weren’t planning to get too aggressive on planting; just making sure to get the kinks worked out. Saturday was raining, Sunday got snow. Tuesday we were able to work a couple fields before more rain. We have at least 1.25 inches in the last 36 hours and it’s still raining.”

Preston says she is hoping this week will be productive for planting and is appreciative of the recent rainfall. “Farmers in the area are antsy to get back in the field but when looking at Colorado, western Kansas and Nebraska, we certainly cannot complain about rain.”

Rain and cold has also been an issue in western Iowa.

“We are about 25% done planting corn and 75% through corn first pass spraying” says Matt Brummett from Pottawattamie County. “Some folks have quite a bit in, but many others haven’t started yet. I think several are trying to let the cold snaps get by before planting. We’ve had almost 3 inches of rain in the last week, so progress is slow … the joys of spring!”

Kevin McGrain of Woodbury County concurred.

“Have not planted anything yet,” he says. “It’s been pretty cold up this way. Last night’s low was 23 degrees. Hopefully we’ll get rolling next week or even the next when looking at the weather.”

Earlier this week, Lance and Kerri Bell from rural Keota says things are quiet for now.

“We went in the week of April 10 with lots of activity across Washington and Keokuk counties,” the couple reports. “Virtually no activity since. We’re looking ahead at the nine-day forecast - it isn't warm enough, which is a concern.” 

Kennady Moffitt contributed to this report.