Ag secretary says weather not cooperating

Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig says the weather is not cooperating with Iowa farmers? spring field work plans. ?Another week of cold, wet weather prevented nearly all fieldwork and continued to challenge cow-calf producers,? Naig said in his latest Iowa Crop Progress and Condition report, in which he noted that 4 percent of the oat crop has been planted -- more than a week behind last year and the five-year average. He said, ?We are still likely a few weeks out from widespread spring fieldwork.?

There was less than a full day that was suitable for fieldwork last week due to weather conditions, although he noted there were isolated reports of grain transport and fertilizer applications. Topsoil moisture levels are rated 2 percent very short, 7 percent short, 76 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus, while subsoil moisture levels are rated 3 percent very short, 12 percent short, 77 percent ad-equate and 8 percent surplus. Also, livestock conditions continued to be mixed, Naig said, with cold temperatures and snow hampering early spring pasture growth and continuing to present challenges for calving throughout much of the state.