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Corn planting in the Northeast's major corn regions was accelerating. Small grains and forage crops generally in good shape.

John Vogel, Editor, American Agriculturist

May 8, 2013

3 Min Read

You already know that corn planting in the Central Corn Belt has been slowed by cold, wet weather. That's where grain futures market rallies are born and die. But what about the Northeast, where limited farm-grown livestock forages and feeds balance the scales of profitability? Here's a quick peak at National Ag Statistics Service's Crop Progress reports as of April 28.


Delaware and Maryland
After last year's extremely early spring warm-up, most farmers thought this spring would never arrive. Despite a slow start to corn planting, farmers made good progress in catching up in both states. Percent of corn planted in Maryland as of Friday was 21%, compared to 26% for the five-year average. In Delaware, 32% of corn was planted, compared to 36% for the five-year average.

Condition of small grains in both states were generally good, and likely improved by weekend rains. In Maryland, barley was 55% headed, compared to 30% for the five-year average. In Delaware, barley heading was 50%, right on the average.

New England
Note: This information comes from Extension, Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service reporters.
•Connecticut is generally very dry. Field corn planting is getting underway as daytime temperatures begin to warm up.
•Maine was still waiting for spring's warm weather to break. Most areas, but not all, reported very dry soil conditions. Corn planting is just getting underway.
•Massachusetts field work got underway late in the week after mid-week rains.
•New Hampshire received much-needed rainfall. Graziers began moving cattle to pastures. Field preparations were underway to plant vegetables and small fruits.
•Rhode Island growers, though slowed by cold soils, were starting to plant cold weather vegetables. Hay fields and pastures were green, but waiting for heat.
•Vermont soils were generally dry enough to work, but cold. Corn planting just started on lighter soils. Hay crops and pastures were just starting to grow. Continued dry weather is a worry.


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New Jersey
Last week was a good week for field work, and corn planting was just getting started. Topsoil moisture was reported 75% adequate to surplus. Pasture conditions rated 45% fair, 40% good and 15% excellent. 

New York
Last week was also a good field work week in the Empire State, despite below normal temperatures and widespread frosts. Soil moisture generally ranked 96% adequate to surplus. So farmers were more inclined to spread manure and work ground than plant corn.

Oats seeding was 30% complete compared to 51% for the five-year average. Wheat was rated as 24% fair, 63% good and 12% excellent.

Pasture conditions were variable, expected given the slow spring warm-up. Pastures were rated 5% very poor, 18% poor, 41% fair, 33% good and 3% excellent.

As of Friday, soil moisture was 75% adequate and 23% surplus. Freezing and late frosts kept a lot of corn planters out of the fields despite a generally good week for field work.

Some11% of corn was planted, compared to the five-year average of 17%.

Barley was 8% headed compared to the five-year average of 29%.Crop condition of winter wheat was 83% good to excellent. Alfalfa was 71% in good to excellent condition. Pastures were 87% in fair to good condition.

Every decision that you make influences the size and scope for corn yields. From the corn hybrid you select to the seeding rate and row width you choose. Download our FREE report over Maximizing Your Corn Yield.


About the Author(s)

John Vogel

Editor, American Agriculturist

For more than 38 years, John Vogel has been a Farm Progress editor writing for farmers from the Dakota prairies to the Eastern shores. Since 1985, he's been the editor of American Agriculturist – successor of three other Northeast magazines.

Raised on a grain and beef farm, he double-majored in Animal Science and Ag Journalism at Iowa State. His passion for helping farmers and farm management skills led to his family farm's first 209-bushel corn yield average in 1989.

John's personal and professional missions are an integral part of American Agriculturist's mission: To anticipate and explore tomorrow's farming needs and encourage positive change to keep family, profit and pride in farming.

John co-founded Pennsylvania Farm Link, a non-profit dedicated to helping young farmers start farming. It was responsible for creating three innovative state-supported low-interest loan programs and two "Farms for the Future" conferences.

His publications have received countless awards, including the 2000 Folio "Gold Award" for editorial excellence, the 2001 and 2008 National Association of Ag Journalists' Mackiewicz Award, several American Agricultural Editors' "Oscars" plus many ag media awards from the New York State Agricultural Society.

Vogel is a three-time winner of the Northeast Farm Communicators' Farm Communicator of the Year award. He's a National 4-H Foundation Distinguished Alumni and an honorary member of Alpha Zeta, and board member of Christian Farmers Outreach.

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