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Wet weather slows planting and corn growth

(Radio Iowa) – The latest U.S.D.A. crop report shows a statewide average of less than two suitable days for field work last week due to wet conditions.

Corn planting advanced only four percent to 92-percent when 99-percent of the crop is normally in the ground by this time of year.

Richard Choudor farms nearly one thousand acres near Manly in North Central Iowa. He says a good portion of his land has no crop because he can’t get into the fields.

“We’re extremely wet now the fields are 100 percent saturated and there’s more rain coming. We just need some warm dry weather,” Chouder says.

For the corn that has been planted, 81-percent has emerged, well behind the normal 96-percent for this time of year.

Carlyle Kiewiet farms near Forest City in Winnebago County. He did manage to get all of his 80 acres planted by dodging a snow storm and six inches of rain in early May — but the wet weather is showing its impact.

“The corn is yellowy color, it’s not a real nice green color, we should have,” Kiewiet says. “My beans look fair, they are about two-and-a-half inches tall, but they should actually be a lot higher from when I planted them. I’m fortunate to get them even out up out of the ground for the rain we got. I figured they may rot, but they didn’t.”

Choudor says many producers this week are faced with the decision of whether to plant anything and will turn in their losses for federal crop insurances claims. Farmers have planted just 60 percent of the soybean crop, an increase of 16 percentage over last week, but still far behind the normal 95-percent.

Only 39-percent of the soybeans have emerged, which is well behind last year’s 93-percent, and the five-year average of 83-percent. Both the planting and emergence for soybeans were the latest since 1993.