Heavy rainfall and cool temperatures put a halt to most field work during the week, according to the Indiana Field Office of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Nearly seven inches of rain was reported in some areas leaving standing water and causing creeks and ditches to rise above their banks. Light snow flurries were experienced in a few northern and central areas and temperatures as low as 21 degrees were recorded during the week. Farmers in south western and south central counties were able to make very limited progress planting corn. However, their efforts did push planted acreage to one percent complete which is approximately two weeks behind the 5-year average pace. Pastures have greened up but are slow to grow, requiring many cattle producers to continue feeding hay. Some winter wheat acreage may have been damaged due to the excess moisture. Peach trees are in bloom in southern parts of the state.
FIELD CROPS REPORT
There were 1.2 days suitable for field work during the week. One percent of the intended corn acreage has been planted at this time compared with 43 percent last year and 16 percent for the 5-year average. Nationally corn planted doubled from 2 percent to 4 percent and trails the 5 year average of 16 percent. Only a few scattered fields of soybeans have been planted thus far this spring.
Thirty-six percent of the winter wheat acreage is jointed compared with 67 percent last year and 40 percent for the 5-year average. Winter wheat condition is rated 68 percent good to excellent compared with 76 percent last year at this time.
Major activities during the week included: hauling grain to market, monitoring and clearing debris from field drains, preparing planting equipment and taking care of livestock.
LIVESTOCK, PASTURE AND RANGE REPORT
Livestock are reported to be in mostly good condition. However, pastures and barn lots are extremely muddy making feeding difficult. Calving and lambing continued under very wet conditions. Pasture condition is rated 55 percent good to excellent compared with 73 percent last year at this time. Hay supplies are rated 8 percent very short, 29 percent short, 62 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.