Spring weather was absent throughout the week, according to Greg Matli, Indiana State Statistician for the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Cold and windy conditions with several periods of snow and heavy rains stalled most field work. The statewide average temperature was 36.9 degrees, 9.9 degrees below normal. After a colder than normal March, conditions are far from ideal for planting. The statewide average precipitation total was 1.74 inches, 0.83 inches above normal. Rainfall amounts varied from 0.14 inches to 4.11 inches over the week. Soil moisture surpluses remained. There were only 0.6 days available for fieldwork for the week ending April 8.
There were several reports of flooding and deteriorating road conditions throughout the state which caused road and school closures. Fields will need an adequate amount of time to dry out for planting. Below average temperatures and saturated soils have slowed the warming of soil and hindered normal regrowth of pastures and hayfields. The weather continued to place strain on already tight hay supplies. Calving continued. Feedlots are still wet and sloppy but livestock remains on average in good shape. While fields are not in ideal condition for planting, some mint planting has started. Other limited field activity included anhydrous and dry fertilizer applications and topdressing of winter wheat. Other activities for the week included hauling grain where possible, pumping fields near rivers, ditch digging and repairs, some tiling and preparing equipment for spring work.