Cool, wet weather kept soils saturated and prevented fieldwork in much of the State, according to Greg Matli, Indiana State Statistician for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. With rain events occurring at both the beginning and end of the week, soil moisture levels remained above the previous year and five-year average. The average temperature for the week was 43.7 degrees Fahrenheit, 2.0 degrees below normal for the State. The amount of rainfall varied from 1.41 inches to 2.26 inches over the week. The statewide average precipitation was 1.89 inches. There were 1.6 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending March 31.
Winter wheat was breaking dormancy in some parts of the State, primarily in the central and southern regions. Minor concerns of hay supplies were reported, while livestock were recovering from the cold and wet winter. Above average rainfall did little to ease moisture levels or flooding concerns, but a brief dry window midweek allowed for limited fieldwork in some areas. Activities for the week included hauling grain, potato planting, application of dry fertilizers and anhydrous ammonia, spring tillage, tiling, and preparing equipment for spring field work.
This is the first weekly crop and weather report for the 2019 season. These reports will cover planting and harvesting activities, crop development, weather data, and timely crop management information provided by farmers, USDA, and Purdue University experts.