Heavy rain showers and strong winds kept farmers out of the fields for most of the week, according to Greg Matli, Indiana State Statistician for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service in the first NASS weekly update of the season.
Strong winds were felt throughout the state over the weekend, with two tornados touching down in Lafayette and Wabash leading to wind damages reported on farmsteads to both structures and trees. Heavy rain showers through the weekend led to localized flooding in low areas. Average temperatures for the week were 47.1 degrees, 0.2 degrees below normal for the State. Rainfall amounts varied from 0.78 inches to 3.10 inches over the week. There were 1.9 days available for fieldwork this week.
The cold snap and stormy weather left some low-lying wheat fields over saturated with moisture. In spite of the dreary and blustery weather, the wheat crop was reported to be in good condition, growing well and greening up nicely. Some farmers were able to apply nitrogen to the fields before the storms came. Pastures and hay fields are also greening up well with the extra moisture. Mint planting has begun in the Northwest.
Due to the limited days available for fieldwork, farmers have otherwise spent their time hauling grain, burning down cover crops, laying and repairing tile, calving, preparing farm equipment for spring plantings and enrolling in 2016 FSA programs.