Farmers were kept out of the fields most of this week due to a continuation of very cold and wet weather, according to Greg Matli, Indiana State Statistician for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Below average temperatures brought a wintry mix to the state, and in some cases, snow accumulation. Much of the precipitation occurred in Northern Indiana, with the statewide average at 0.78 inches for the week. Days suitable for fieldwork was 1.1, down 0.8 from the previous week.
Several fields continued to be over saturated with moisture, leading to ponding in low-lying areas. Although there were some reports of drown out in winter wheat fields, 79% of the crop remains in good to excellent condition. The cold temperatures have slowed the growth progress for wheat, but any crop damage from the cold snap remains unclear at this time.
Pastures remain green, but many are also too muddy from the recent rains for livestock. Otherwise, livestock remains in good condition. Growth of hay fields have also slowed down from the cold and wet weather. Farmers focused on other activities this week such as working on machinery, fixing tile lines, hauling grain, calving, preparing farm equipment for spring plantings and enrolling in 2016 FSA programs.