Farmers are expecting to keep their planters tucked away in machine sheds a week or two longer than normal this year as winter is slow to release its grip on Iowa. The lingering cold and wet weather is delaying fertilizer applications and even seed delivery as farmers haven’t yet switched gears into a planting state of mind, said Cass County Farm Bureau member Dan Hansen.

“Last year, March was so nice we’d been putting on gas (anhydrous ammonia fertilizer) for three weeks. If corn seed wasn’t in their shed, guys were calling and asking about it. This year, nobody wants it,” he said. “I think guys are starting to get their planters tuned up, but it’s not like last year when guys were ready to go April 10.”

In northern Iowa, some farmers were hooking their tractors onto snowblowers instead of sprayers and planters after a storm dumped up to 16 inches of snow on March 24.

“Up here it will probably put us ...