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Many acres of corn and soybeans remain unplanted

(Radio Iowa) – An update from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows 94-percent of Iowa’s corn crop is planted, while about three-quarters of the intended soybean acreage is in the ground.

Iowa Agriculture Secretary Bill Northey says the historically wet spring has kept too many farmers out of their fields.

“We’re still hopeful we can get a few more (dry) days in a row and get a lot of stuff done, at least on the soybean planting side yet this week,” Northey says. The optimum date for planting corn was over a month ago, so roughly 800,000 acres intended for corn will likely be left alone.

Monday’s crop report listed 50-percent of Iowa’s corn in good or excellent condition. Twelve-percent of the crop is in poor condition. Northey says much of the corn is obviously shorter than it should be at this time of year and around 11-percent of corn plants haven’t even emerged from the ground.

“We have parts of the state where we have a lot water standing that drowned out the crops,” Northey says. “So, even in the midst of a field that got planted and is included in our acreage, there are holes that will not grow corn this year unless a farmer can get back there and try to replant.”

The final planting date for full crop insurance coverage in Iowa for corn passed on May 31. The final date for soybeans was June 15. “There’s a provision called ‘prevented planting’ that’s apart of that crop insurance. Some folks will likely take that,” Northey says.

“It’s a partial payment compared to what they would have received if they actually planted a crop, but at least it’s something to cover some of those ongoing costs that happen on a farm no matter if you get your crop planted or not.”

The U.S.D.A. already assumes the average amount of corn expected to be harvested per acre in the U.S. to be reduced to 156.5 bushels per acre — down from 158 bushels estimated a month ago.