Continuing warm and dry weather for the week ending April 27 has encouraged farmers to begin planting activities, according to the USDA, NASS, Great Lakes Region. Temperatures in the state ranged from 2º below to 8º degrees above normal, with a high of 83º and a low of 28º. Precipitation amounts ranged from 0.08 to 1.13 inches. Many farmers took advantage of warmer and drier conditions this week to kick off planting, although some others held back in anticipation of cool wet weather predicted for much of next week.
Corn planting is under way but still well below average for this time of year. Soybean planting has been reported in very limited amounts, primarily in southern districts. While progress seems to be slow relative to 5 year averages, it’s important to note that those averages include the unusually fast years of 2012 and 2010. Some small portion of frost damage has been witnessed in winter wheat as it greens up, and slow-growing pasture has led some farmers to maintain their livestock on hay for the time being. Those not planting focused on tillage and application of fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides, as well as maintenance of equipment and tile.
Corn planting is 8% in Indiana up from 1% from last week but well behind the average of 26%. Only 1% of the soybean crop has been planted compared to the 5 year average of 8% Winter Wheat is 43% joined with only a few fields showing heads. The crop is rated as 62% good to excellent. Illinois leads the Midwest with 38% of the corn planted while Iowa has 15% of their corn in the ground. Nationally 28% of the corn has been planted.