Southwest of Storm Lake
|Past Weeks Rainfall||Thunderstorms last night|
|Soil Moisture||The Iowa Drought Monitor shows this part of our territory to be normal to D0 (abnormally dry). February’s accumulated precipitation across Monona, eastern Woodbury, Ida, and Sac was some of the best in the state. That trend has continued during March an|
|Temperature||Above average. Easter weekend was in the 80’s. Cooler and more seasonable in the forecast.|
|Crop Progress||Field work has begun with fertilization and some tillage.|
|Fall Prices – 2021||$4.49|
|Past Weeks Trend||Old-crop has been range-bound the past two months; new-crop has been trending slowly higher.|
|Fall Prices – 2021||$12.04|
|Past Weeks Trend||Old-crop has risen slowly the past two months while new-crop has risen steadily.|
No doubt we need more rainfall to build subsoil moisture this spring, as rainfall tends to drop below crop needs by the first day of summer. However, the trend for moisture has been encouraging across this part of our trade territory and we’ve made good gains in the moisture department in late winter and early spring. I’ve seen more tile lines running water than not, and tile contractors say there has been noticeable improvement in the depth of soil moisture. Weather patterns in the Pacific Ocean indicate we have higher odds of hot and dry this summer, so we’re happy with any rainfall coming our way. Rivers remain quite low, as there is not yet excess soil moisture nor heavy rainfall to push additional water to the tributaries. For example, the Little Sioux River is running 317 cubic feet/second today,while its median flow for this date is 1,270 cfs.
Soils are mellow and in wonderful conditions this spring. That can change, but the warm weather and mellow soil has farmers raring to go. Earliest plant date for crop insurance coverage is April 11 corn and April 21 for soybeans. The 10-day forecast shows highs in the 50’s and 60’s with lows in the mid-30’s. 4” soil temps today are 58-61 degrees so once this rain passes through and soils dry again, field work will proceed full speed. It appears that much will be accomplished across this area during April. Early planting into good soil conditions is Step 2 to a great crop. Step 1 is proper pre-season planning.
Crop prices continue to press into levels unseen in seven years. Old-crop corn has traded into the mid-$5’s with new-crop into the mid-4’s. Old-crop beans have hit $14/bushel while new-crop has just hit $12. Crop production costs, particularly fertilizer, have risen as well. The fertilizer industry is quick to keep up with increasing corn revenue. Demand continues to drive supplies into a tight ending-stocks scenario. It will take a pretty good 2021 crop to maintain supplies at this rate.
Land values have also followed considerably higher. Late winter sales showed continued strength. In fact, I think a database of sales would show measurable monthly increases. The semi-annual RLI survey as of March 1st showed about 8% higher in this area, based on broker’s opinions. Good land would be stronger than that.
Crop Update Archives
Please click on the links below to view the past pdf’s of our Northwest Crop Conditions reports.Previous Years