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Area Fields Need Time to Dry Out

Published: Friday, April 13, 2018

The following is from the Indiana Field Office of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service for the week ending April 8.

Spring weather was absent throughout the week. Cold and windy conditions with several periods of snow and heavy rains stalled most fieldwork.

The statewide average temperature was 36.9 degrees, 9.9 degrees below normal. After a colder than normal March, conditions are far from ideal for planting.

The statewide average precipitation total was 1.74 inches, .83 inches above normal. Rainfall amounts varied from .14 inches to 4.11 inches.

Soil moisture surpluses remained. There were only .6 days available for field-work.

There were several reports of flooding and deteriorating road conditions throughout the state, which caused road and school closures. Fields will need an adequate amount of time to dry out for planting.

Below average temperatures and saturated soils have slowed the warming of soil and hindered normal regrowth of pastures and hayfields. The weather continued to place strain on already tight hay supplies.

Calving continued. Feed-lots are still wet and sloppy, but livestock remains, on average, in good shape.

While fields are not in ideal condition for planting, some mint planting has started. Other limited field activity included anhydrous and dry fertilizer applications and topdressing of winter wheat.

Other activities for the week included hauling grain where pos-sible, pumping fields near rivers, ditch digging and repairs, some tiling and preparing equipment for spring work.

Topsoil moisture was rated very short, 0 percent; short, 2 percent; adequate, 46 percent; surplus, 52 percent.

Subsoil moisture was rated very short, 0 percent; short, 3 percent; adequate, 51 percent; surplus, 46 percent.

The crop progress schedule (last week, previous week, 2017 and 5-year average) showed: winter wheat jointing, 12, 2, NA, NA.

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