Warm temperatures have begun to dry the saturated soils and brought farmers back outside in the fields to prepare for spring plantings, according to Greg Matli, Indiana State Statistician for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Although the week started with rain and cool temperatures, the end of the week brought sunshine and above average temperatures. Statewide average precipitation was about average for this time of year. There were 2.9 days suitable for fieldwork, up 1.8 days from last week.
Spring planting season has begun in some areas of the state as the weather continues to improve. Statewide 1% of the corn has been planted compared to 7% for the 5 year average. Nationally 13% of the corn has been planted with Iowa leading the Midwest at 13% planted, Illinois with 12%.
Winter wheat growth has continued to progress ahead of schedule; however, some of the crop has yellowed from the cold snap that occurred last week. On the other hand, the cold temperatures at the beginning of the week likely have affected fruit trees that were beginning to blossom. The full extent of damages, if any, are unknown at this time. Pastures and hay fields are growing well and greening up nicely with the warm temperatures, and livestock are faring well.
Other activities for the week included preparing fields for spring planting, tilling coarse soils, calving, hauling grain, spraying, applying nitrogen, and repairing tile holes.
Soil Moisture: Week Ending 04/17/16