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Farmers are making plant profits between rain showers. •Iowa Capital Dispatch

The pace of corn and soybean planting accelerated last week amid the reprieve of rainfall across much of the state, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Farmers planted more than a fifth of the total expected acres for each crop that week, moving closer to their typical planting schedule, but they are still delayed by four days for corn and two days for soybeans.

“We haven’t had much time to do any planting,” said Rebecca Vittetoe, an Iowa State University Extension field agronomist who monitors part of eastern Iowa. “If they can be in the field, they run as long as they can.”

April planting got off to a fast start before successive weeks of above-average rainfall. Last week, the state averaged about 0.65 inches of rain — just over half of what is normally expected.

The heaviest precipitation fell in the southern third of the state, where totals exceeded more than 3 inches. In other parts of the state, almost no rain fell.

This has led to major differences in the Vittetoe region, where corn has been planted in about 90% of the provinces north of last week’s rainfall line, and about 60% of the provinces in the south where heavy rainfall has occurred. she estimates.

Statewide, about 78% of the corn crop was planted as of Sunday and the optimal last day for planting has passed. According to research from the ISU, potential yields for planting corn will generally decline rapidly in the coming weeks.

About 61% of the soybeans were planted as of Sunday. Their yields are also starting to decline, but not as quickly as those of corn.

“We’re past the major concern that we had maybe a week ago,” said Angie Rieck-Hinz, a north-central Iowa agronomist. “There will always be people who haven’t started yet, but for the vast majority of hectares we are in pretty good shape.”

Some fieldwork is likely to be interrupted by significant rainfall forecast Monday through Tuesday evening.

“There will be several thunderstorms with heavy rain quite widespread across the northern two-thirds of the state,” said Mike Fowle, meteorologist for the National Weather Service. “In some places you could see more than 4 to 5 inches of rain.”

The Weather Service has issued a flood warning for half of the state’s counties.