Concerns about dry sub­­soil conditions and cool soil temperatures weighed on the minds of Iowa farmers last week as they finalized preparations for the 2014 planting season.

Farmers have been swarming across fields during the past few weeks to make spring fertilizer applications and complete other tasks after enduring the coldest winter in 35 years and ninth coldest since the state began keeping records 141 years ago.

There were even a few reports of planting in southern Iowa, but most farmers held off as soil temperatures remained below the ideal 50-degree mark in most of the state at the end of the week.

"People are getting ready, but I think they’re afraid it’s still too cold (to start planting)," said John Carson,...