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No-till limits moisture issues on West Central Iowa farm
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No-till limits moisture issues on West Central Iowa farm

Joe Gross prepares to move his planter

Joe Gross prepares to move his planter to another field April 30. Gross farms near Earling in Shelby County.

EARLING, Iowa — Joe Gross and his family finished planting their crop May  5, and conditions were decent throughout the process.

“We are all no-till, so we didn’t have the moisture issues those who use tillage might have had,” he says. “I was planting into moisture, and the ground worked up really well.”

Gross and his family farm near here in Shelby County. The West Central Iowa farmer says other than a couple mechanical issues, things went pretty smoothly.

“We are usually done around this time,” he says.

In the May 3 USDA weekly Crop Progress report, the district had 56% of corn planted and 35% of soybeans planted.

Gross says 2020 yields were OK, adding it was not one of his better years.

“We’re hoping for better this year,” he says.

Some much-needed rain fell May 2, but it only slowed farmers down by a day. The USDA report rated topsoil moisture 23% very short, 30% short and 47% adequate. Subsoil moisture rated 28% very short, 50% short and 22% adequate.

“We had nine-tenths of an inch that we really needed,” Gross says. “We’re in good shape today, but we will definitely need more rain pretty soon.”

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Jeff DeYoung is livestock editor for Iowa Farmer Today, Missouri Farmer Today and Illinois Farmer Today.

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Iowa Farmer Today checks in with farmers throughout the state for our annual update on soil conditions and planting progress.

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