Soils dried enough for many farmers to begin planting corn during the week, according to the Indiana Field Office of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The most planting progress occurred in southwestern counties until rain showers arrived over the weekend. Corn planting progress is approximately 26 days behind last year and 20 days behind the 5-year average pace. The slowest year on record for planting corn occurred in 1961 when virtually no corn acreage had been planted at this same time. More recently, in 1996, 9 percent of corn had been planted at this time. A few soybean fields were also planted during the week. Apple trees are blooming across most of the state.
FIELD CROPS REPORT
There were 3.1 days suitable for field work during the week. Eight percent of the intended corn acreage has been planted at this time compared with 82 percent last year and 41 percent for the 5-year average. By area, 7 percent of the corn acreage has been planted in the north, 6 percent in the central region and 15 percent in the south. National planting of corn improved from 5 to 12 percent in the last week.
Only a minimal number of soybean fields have been planted at this time.
Sixty-four percent of the winter wheat acreage is jointed compared with 94 percent last year and 75 percent for the 5-year average. One percent of the winter wheat acreage is headed compared with 55 percent last year and 15 percent for the 5-year average. Winter wheat condition is rated 71 percent good to excellent compared with 75 percent last year at this time.
Major activities during the week included: spraying herbicides, applying anhydrous ammonia, hauling grain to market, preparing planting equipment and taking care of livestock.
LIVESTOCK, PASTURE AND RANGE REPORT
Livestock remained in mostly good condition. However, respiratory problems have been reported on a few operations. Pasture condition continued to improve and is rated 66 percent good to excellent compared with 74 percent last year at this time.