It’s a big country, and so far #plant18 has seen extreme weather from one end of it to another.
While some farmers wrestled with snow and mud, others are concerned about drought as equipment remains largely parked.
“Dirt blowing, wild fires, no one is turning a wheel as it would blow,” said a producer from northwestern Kansas posting Feedback From The Field on Wednesday “Field work never started this year.”
Temperature down to 7 degrees two weeks ago burned winter wheat fields, “and with the lack of rain the wheat looks near dead.”
Fields were rated very poor, one of several farmers whose wheat looks ragged. Another grower in Indiana was dealing with wet, cold conditions. But at least farmers so far are keeping their sense of humor.
“Fields are covered in heavy wet snow and ice at this time,” the producer said. “Wheat has come out of winter dormancy and I'm sure this isn't helping an already thin stand but I guess we will find out in a couple months when it warms back up – lol.”
Forecasts for the next two weeks do show better conditions into May, which is giving some hope. A grower in northern Missouri noted rain taken out of the forecast for this weekend in that area. “I am considering beginning corn planting Friday or Saturday and going straight over to beans if conditions stay as forecast.”
Comments posted earlier this week suggested that was unlikely in the upper Midwest.
“Frost is 18" to 2' deep, just had 12" - 20" snow plus blizzard and another 5" - 8" forecast for Wednesday,” said a producer southeast of Minneapolis. Minnesota and the rest of the upper Midwest were ground zero for the massive winter storm that swept across the country over the weekend. ”No field work until at best May 10th,” predicted this producer.
“Looking at 2 feet of snow from the blizzard we just got,” said another grower from the Gopher State.
Further south in Iowa fields were hit by rain and snow, with little activity reported. “Saw one field of oats muddled in Friday before the winter weather hit again,” reported a farmer in Iowa. ”Doubt little corn will be planted in April here in northwest Iowa this year due to cold temps and precipitation.”
“Cold and wet” were also the mantra in Illinois, where equipment was parked.
South of Indianapolis, lowland fields were flooding. In the northwest part of the state another Hoosier lamented: “Still snowing and 28 degrees. Wet.”
“Like everyone cold and wet,” added a Michigan grower. “I want it to be hot enough we can complain about it!”
Heavy rains caused problems for growers further south, where some corn and soybeans are in the ground. Corn was called only fair in Texas to very poor in Louisiana. But conditions were better in North Carolina, where corn was fair to excellent.
Click this Feedback From The Field link to rate crops in your area and provide planting progress in your fields. We’ll update reports with the interactive map below that lets you see what other growers are saying around the country. Click the box in the upper left-hand corner to bring up the weekly index; scroll down to see the most current week.
Feedback From The Field - April 18, 2018 - Welcome to springtime in the Midwest.
Feedback From The Field - April 16, 2018 - Interactive tool helps growers share conditions.