Thunderstorms during the past week caused wind, hail, flood and tornado damage across Corn Belt fields and brought a halt to many farmers trying to complete planting activity. With the abundant moisture of the past several weeks, many areas are flooded and reminiscent of 2008 and 2009.

The USDA’s weekly weather and crop summaryreported 94% of the crop had emerged and 76% of it was in good to excellent condition, both statistics well ahead of historical thresholds. The soybean crop is 84% planted with 75% in good to excellent condition. Both emergence and crop conditions were well ahead of last year. In general the 2010 growing season is a welcome relief from last year, but is every Cornbelt state a garden spot?


ILLINOIS: Persistent rains left nearly 2 in. over most of the state, .8 in. above average and that reduced the days suitable for fieldwork less than 3.5. Topsoil moisture is 98% adequate to surplus. Sporadic rains, some containing hail and high winds, stopped fieldwork in most areas of Illinois last week. Most of the corn replanting has been completed in counties that received less precipitation. The average corn height is 17 in. compared to a 12-in. average for this time of year. There is no report on soybeans, or on crop conditions, other than small grains and forage.

INDIANA: Total precipitation in the past week ranged up to 3.19 in. with scattered thunderstorms throughout the state limiting fieldwork during the week to 3.2 days. Topsoil and subsoil moisture are 99% adequate to surplus. Ninety-seven percent of the corn is planted and is 70% good to excellent. Eighty-one percent of the beans are planted and are 67% good to excellent. Crop reporters say corn planting is lagging behind in some northeastern and southeastern counties. Soybean planting was hindered by wet soil conditions but is on pace with the five-year average.

IOWA: Less than four days were suitable for fieldwork because Iowa received another round of scattered rain, wind and hail. Localities hit with large amounts of rain reported standing water and erosion, while western Iowa reported hail and high winds that caused minor crop damage. Ample precipitation and warm weather aided rapid corn growth and late-planted soybean emergence. Topsoil and subsoil moisture are 94% adequate to surplus. As corn nears row closure, operators are concerned with completing their spraying before it gets too tall.

KANSAS: Little precipitation was received with only six counties receiving more than an inch of rain, so six days were suitable for fieldwork. Temperatures were above normal with highs in the upper 90s and lows in the upper 40s. Hot, dry weather has assisted in the progression of the wheat crop and in the planting and emergence of the row crops. Topsoil and subsoil moisture are nearly 90% adequate to surplus.

MICHIGAN: Four days were suitable for fieldwork, and rain put a halt to fieldwork last week, but recent rains improved most crops. Producers fell behind on spraying. Last week’s rainy weather hindered field activities but aided emergence and development of crops. Topsoil and subsoil are well over 90% adequate to surplus. The corn height averages7 in., with growth stages ranging from V4 to V5. Due to quick growth, plants are spindly and easily knocked down. Some fields showed signs of nitrogen deficiency or nitrogen burn. Seed corn planting is progressing. Increased presence of black cutworm larvae was reported on fields that had small grain cover crops. Soybean planting continued as weather permitted, with growth stages ranging from V1 to V4. Fields that drowned out have been or will be replanted.

MINNESOTA: Over five days were suitable for fieldwork, with repeated light rains prevailing during the week. South-central and southeast regions of the state received over 1.3 in., on average, with isolated reports of hail. Topsoil moisture is 87% adequate to surplus. Soybeans are 3 in. tall and the corn is 8 in. Crop condition ratings held steady despite cooler temperatures and scattered precipitation. Temperatures cooled to their seasonal averages after nearly two weeks of above-normal temperatures.

MISSOURI: Rainfall averaged 1.48 in. during the week across the state, with wet conditions in the northern third of the state limiting fieldwork in those areas with only 4.3 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture is 87% adequate to surplus and the subsoil is 91% adequate to surplus. Spring tillage is 94% complete.

NEBRASKA: The eastern third of the state averaged over 1 in. of precipitation, with the east-central district averaging over 2 in. of moisture. However, Northeast rainfall totals remained well below normal since April 1. Nearly five days were suitable for fieldwork. Both topsoil and subsoil moisture are over 95% adequate to surplus.

NORTH DAKOTA: While weather conditions aided crop development, excess moisture delayed planting progress. Reporters commented that wet field conditions also hampered spraying progress in some areas. Over five days were suitable for fieldwork, and both topsoil and subsoil moisture are nearly all adequate to surplus.

OHIO: Although there were no details on weather, only 3.3 days were suitable for fieldwork in the past week. Topsoil moisture is 99% adequate to surplus. The corn is 70% good to excellent with 97% of the planting complete. The soybean crop is 66% good to excellent with 79% planted and 64% emerged.

SOUTH DAKOTA: Weather conditions varied around the state with 4.9 days suitable for fieldwork last week. Planting continued in much of South Dakota while in other areas, fieldwork came to a stand still for most of the week. Crops and pastures are ready for sunshine to help with crop development. Topsoil moisture and subsoil moisture are both adequate to surplus for all practical purposes. Ninety-six percent of the corn has been planted, with an average height of 5 in.

WISCONSIN: The warm temperatures and recent moisture accelerated emergence of crops with some total exceeding 2 in., but some farmers still think soil moistures are short. Signs of stress due to lack of moisture is beginning to show in the northeastern parts of the state, while southern districts have standing water in some fields. There were 4.5 days suitable for fieldwork last week, with topsoil reported 86% adequate to surplus. Ninety-one percent of the corn has emerged and 91% of the soybeans are planted, with 71% emerged.

Summary
The bulk of the Corn Belt has good soil moisture, with a surplus amount in some areas that has either delayed fieldwork or flooded fields that have been planted. A few dry spots are reported, and some replanting has resulted in the western Corn Belt. Crops are all planted and emerging ahead of historical thresholds, and 70% or more of the corn is reported in good to excellent condition.