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Cold Weather Prevents Fieldwork

Published: Friday, April 13, 2018

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

Another week of cold and windy weather hindered fieldwork. An abundance of snow cover accompanied with below average temperatures prevented the start of fieldwork in northern Michigan, while snow showers and cold weather limited fieldwork in central Michigan.

Snowfall, rain showers and below normal temperatures kept many producers out of the fields in southern Michigan.

There were 1.5 days suitable for fieldwork.

Winter wheat progressed slowly due to the cold weather, and oat planting was delayed by wet soil conditions.

Despite the winter-like conditions, fieldwork activities included hauling manure, spreading fertiliz-er and equipment maintenance.


Continued cold temperatures have prevented any potential development in fruit crops for the 2018 season. At the same time, the slow warmup to the season has meant that recent wintry weather has had only minimal negative impacts to dormant fruit crops.

In the Southwest, some localized damage to peaches and wine grapes was reported following very cold weather around New Year's, but the damage was not widespread.

In the Northwest, many areas remained snow covered, but some spring pruning did take place where growers were able to access their orchards.

Topsoil moisture was rated very short, 0 percent; short, 4 percent; adequate, 71 percent; surplus, 25 percent.

Subsoil moisture was rated very short, 1 percent; short, 4 percent; adequate, 73 percent; surplus, 22 percent.

The crop progress schedule (last week, previous week, 2017 and 5-year average) showed: winter wheat jointing, 2, 1, 1, 1; oats planted, 2, 2, 2, 2.

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