Farmers work to meet planting deadline - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Farmers work to meet planting deadline

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AKRON, Iowa (KTIV) -

This time of year, farmers hope to be nearly done with planting, but agriculture officials said Iowa is just a bit behind.

Just about one week ago, Justin Smith got on his tractor, and began planting for the season.

"It's exciting because we're starting another year of farming. It's something to look forward to. Our goal is to be done, hopefully, by this weekend, but it seems like it will take a few days after that," Smith said.

Ag officials said most of Iowa is a little behind at this point in May.

"As of this last weekend, we had 23% of the corn planted, so about a quarter. I think we'll see that number jump quite a bit for this next week," Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey said.

Northey said typically about 50% of corn is planted by now, but he said it's nothing to be concerned about.

"I think we'll be catching up, and I think there's no reason to be worried about being slightly later than normal," Northey said.

Smith farms with his father in Akron, Iowa. He said they're ahead of the curve because they're about 60-to-70% done with planting, but the success of their crop depends on good conditions.

"The conditions right now are really dry. The soil is really dusty. We would like to get a lot more rain, hopefully once the crop seeds get in the ground" Smith said.

On Thursday, Smith said he expects to spend about 20 more hours on his tractor planting what's left of the corn crop on about 400 acres of his fields.

"About 10 days after planting, we should see things start to come up out of the ground," Smith said.

"We need timely rains, not too much rain, we need to be able to keep the weeds and bugs away from hurting that yield," Northey said.

And, if the conditions do cooperate, Smith said they're hoping they can do as well as they did last year.

Once all of Smith's corn is planted, he said he'll start planting soybeans.

Ag officials said most soybeans are planted between now and May 20.

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