As the 2016 planting season spins into high gear across the Midwest, we’ve gathered a few glimpses of how things are doing across the region. Add your comments at http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/2728134/Crop-ratings.
Some sugar beets were planted and some oats and hay were seeded this week as conditions allowed, and clover was drilled into some wheat where it was not able to be frost seeded earlier. The ground is still too wet for planting in many places.
But, to put things in perspective, just 10 days ago we were having a significant snow storm. Two days ago it was over 80 degrees… it’s Michigan!
Some fruit was damaged when we had about five days of warm weather in March that prompted bud growth, only to have winter come back in early April. It doesn’t appear to be significant though. Tart cherries were mostly unharmed.
Editor, Michigan Farmer
Winter wheat crop is about 2 to 3 weeks ahead of schedule in Kansas. Recent rain and cooler weather may slow it down a bit, but nights are getting warmer, so probably not much. I’m guessing combines will roll by Memorial Day in southwest Kansas. Crop looks very good in spite of some drought stress and a freeze that hurt primary tillers in south central Kansas. Corn planning is wrapping up. The entire state got rain – some areas more than others, but at least 1.5 to 2 inches almost everywhere.
Editor, Kansas Farmer
Planting progress is excellent in Illinois. A lot of corn went in the ground last week and over the weekend, while rains across the state have slowed progress this week. Spotty and varied are the words to use; rainfall reports range from a tenth to 2 inches, in less than a few miles. While ¾ of the state is rated at adequate topsoil moisture, that average doesn’t tell the story. It’s been wet in the south and incredibly dry further north. Gentle rainfall this week may help the dry conditions, and will be the perfect start for the crop. Illinois Department of Ag reports 12% of the corn planted as of April 18; I suspect that number will jump exponentially with the April 25 report. Many farmers were working long days, putting as much corn in the ground as possible while the weather held. We are on par with the 5-year average at this point but again, next week’s report will see huge jumps.
Editor, Prairie Farmer
People are starting to work and plant in central Indiana. We had an inch or more 8 days ago, so planters are just now rolling here.
Editor, Indiana Prairie Farmer
In my area of southeast Minnesota, planting is progressing quickly. Rain showers are spotty, delaying field work in some areas. Soybean planting will likely begin in earnest now as April 21 is the earliest day soybeans can be planted and qualify for crop insurance coverage. Sprayers are also rolling.
Janet Kubat Willette
Digital editor, Penton Agriculture