For the week ending April 21, 2013, cold temperatures combined with precipitation in the form of snow and rain to halt spring fieldwork, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office. Soil moisture supplies in the east showed improvement; however, western counties received 0.5 inch or less of moisture during the week, doing little to build soil profiles. The cold conditions lowered soil temperatures which declined into the low 40’s and upper 30’s statewide. Planting activities were at a standstill with only 1.6 days considered suitable for fieldwork. Statewide, topsoil moisture supplies rated 10 percent very short, 31 short, 56 adequate, and 3 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 49 percent very short, 41 short, 10 adequate, and 0 surplus. Wheat conditions rated 13 percent very poor, 30 poor, 46 fair, 11 good, and 0 excellent. Wheat jointed was 5 percent, behind last year’s 56 and 18 average.
The cooler temperatures and wet soils have delayed even further the start of fieldwork, with reports indicating that, on average, producers intend to begin fieldwork by May 5. Temperatures across North Dakota last week were at least 9 degrees below normal, with the exception being the southwest part of the state where temperatures were 6 to 9 degrees below normal. With the continued snow cover, averaging 5.9 inches across the state, there was only 0.1 day suitable for fieldwork. Although moisture supplies continue to improve, the 2013 planting progress remains well behind last year’s early progress and also behind the 5 year average. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 2 percent very short, 9 percent short, 74 percent adequate, and 15 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were 5 percent very short, 35 percent short, 56 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus.
Two days were suitable for field work in Ohio during the week ending April 21. Rain throughout the State kept farmers from working in their fields for most of the week, particularly in the northern and western parts of the State where heavy rains and flooding occurred. The rain has been beneficial to winter wheat, which is in a rapid growth phase. Overall the crop is looking good. Although some field prep activities are ongoing, many producers are waiting for warmer and drier weather to start planting corn. One percent of the corn has been planted, the same as last week, which compares to 12 percent for the 5-year average and 31 percent at this point in 2012. The winter wheat crop is rated 12 percent excellent, 60 percent good, 23 percent fair and 5 percent poor to very poor.