Dust flew as planters rolled through the fields last week, according to Greg Matli, Indiana State Statistician for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Planting was in full swing throughout the state. Warm temperatures and favorable conditions gave farmers the chance to make great progress before the rains midweek. The rains slightly slowed progress, but farmers made up ground and then some. The average temperature for the week 64.7 degrees, 8.0 degrees above normal for the state. The amounts of rainfall recorded at weather stations varied from 0.00 inches to 4.26 inches over the week. The statewide average for precipitation was 0.71 inches, or 76 percent of normal. There were 5.0 days available for fieldwork for the week ending May 6.
The welcome change in the prevailing weather pattern helped to speed up the planting of soybeans and corn. Both moved ahead of the five year average but corn progress is still behind last year. Sunshine and high winds have lowered soil moisture levels, but also limited spraying. Many growers noted overly dry conditions while planting and made depth adjustments or bet on the rains in the forecast. Cereal grains were cut for silage, pasture conditions improved and livestock are reported to be in good shape. Other activities for the week included field preparation, tile installation, finishing anhydrous applications, tillage and spreading fertilizer.