Des Moines, Iowa (AP) – Dry weather last week has allowed Iowa farmers to surge ahead of their normal planting schedule with 80 percent of the corn crop now planted.
The USDA says that’s eight days ahead of the five-year average of just 56 percent planted by the first week in May.
The crop was planted early enough that 28 percent is already emerged from the ground about five days ahead of the Iowa average.
Location makes a difference, however, with Western Iowa lagging behind because it’s been wetter than the rest of the state. Nebraska farmers are 53 percent planted a little behind their average of 59 percent.
Corn farmers also are ahead of schedule in Illinois, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Soybeans also are in the ground much earlier in those states.