Sunshine? Check. Pastures greening up? Check. Daffodils blooming? Check. Tractors and planters crisscrossing the fields? Not really. Yes, most signs of spring are here, but lots of rain and not-quite-warm-enough weather haven’t allowed for much crop planting across the U.S., according to reports to AgWeb’s Crop Comments.
After last year’s quick start and finish planting season, this year is a little disappointing. A farmer from Barron County, Wis., says it’s hard to believe, but last year at this time, they were in the field. “On April Fool’s Day last year we hit 81, the forecast for this year is 40, just slightly below average.”
Many farmers are expecting to be in the fields during the next few weeks.
“Checked ground temperature last week it was 58 degrees,” reports a Scott County, Ind., farmer. “We are about two weeks away from planting corn.”
Out West in Harrisburg, Ore., a farmer reports that a lot of field work needs to happen in the next few weeks to get ready for row crop plantings. “We are ready for some nice weather!”
A farmer in Piatt County, Ill., is also hoping for some nice, dry weather. “The cold temperatures and wet field conditions have us anxiously waiting to plant corn and soybeans. The family is quite busy with planting preparations and seed shuffling.”
In Trempealeau County, Wis., a farmer says fields are finally starting to firm up, but it’s been a muddy spring. “Overall spring will probably be an average one. Still have a few washouts and ruts that need to be fixed and all the snow and rain hasn't exactly helped.”
The excessive snow of the past few months is making late April is the planting goal of a farmer in Winona County, Minn. “Some snow banks still around. Best guess is that we will be able to plant by April 25.”
Planting Progress in the South
In some areas of the South, planting is on track. But many farmers there are wishing for rain.
A farmer from Franklin, Ga., has finished his first corn crop. “Hope the rain keeps on coming.”
A farmer from Dooly County Ga., says corn planting is about done. “Some up and growing. Early spring so far, I hope freezing temperatures are over with.”
In Erath County, Texas, a farmer says they just experienced the driest March on record. “The last significant moisture we received was in September 2010 at 1.4 inch. The next 60 days are predicted dry by NOAA so dry land plantings of all crops are likely to be poor if the prediction is correct.”
In central Louisiana, a farmer reports corn planting is about 85% complete. “I finished planting corn March 25. Some grain sorghum is being planted," says the farmer from Rapides Parish, La. "Wheat is starting to head. Looks like a good crop.”
What about you? When will you get in the field? Have you got much planted? Send in your crop report to CropComments@agweb.com.