A nice warmup this weekend will put everyone in the mood for fieldwork. Enjoy the warmup, but don’t get too excited about pulling equipment out of the shed, says Hoosier Ag Today’s chief meteorologist Ryan Martin, “This is just a head fake; more cold air from Canada will be back in the Hoosier State next week.” He added that temperatures will be below normal for most of the remainder of the month.
After a very warm December, temperatures have been at seasonal levels or below in January and February. However, March will bring us a slow warmup says Martin, “I think we will lag a little on soil warm up as we move toward planting. The period from late March to early April will have a cool feel, so I don’t think this will be the year to push the envelope on early planting.” He does see the opportunity for fieldwork in March.
As for moisture, Martin says it looks like we should be in good shape, “The end of February will be dry, but we will have several good chances for normal to above normal soil moisture recharge in March. That should give us a nice soil profile as we get ready to start planting.” Martin said the long-range forecast still shows good precipitation for May to get the crops off to a good start.
Ryan Martin sees no major delays for fieldwork in the northern Corn Belt and plains, “They do not have a major snow cover, so if the warm up comes on time, we should not see a delay in planting.” The SW is warming up fast, with parts of Oklahoma reaching the 90s this week. This, along with high winds and some dry conditions, may impact the winter wheat crop.