Farmers achieved substantial planting progress last week, supported by temperate weather and scant precipitation, according to the USDA NASS, Great Lakes Regional Field Office. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 1 percent very short, 8 percent short, 83 percent adequate, and 8 percent surplus. Statewide, the average temperature for the week ending on May 21 was 59.3 degrees, 2.7 degrees below normal. Weather stations recorded an average of 0.57 inches of precipitation, 0.30 inches below average. There were 5.2 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending May 21.
Farmers took advantage of last week’s favorable conditions to make significant strides in planting, chemical application, and mowing. Livestock were reported to be in good condition, enjoying green pasture. A mid-week fall in overnight temperatures and wide-spread frost damaged some fruit tree crops in the northern tier of the State. As last week progressed, operators in northwestern counties voiced concerns about the ground becoming excessively dry. The dry weather limited the activation of herbicides, which led to an increase in weed growth on untreated acres. Corn and soybean planting surged ahead to 66 and 63 percent planted, respectively. Emergence reached 21 percent for corn and 20 percent for soybeans. Winter wheat advanced to 92 percent jointed and 26 percent headed. Winter Wheat crop condition was rated 66 percent good to excellent, down from the previous week. Oat progress advanced steadily to 89 percent planted and 77 percent emerged. Crop condition for oats was rated 80 percent good to excellent. First cuttings of alfalfa and other dry hay were 7 percent and four percent completed, respectively. Pasture and range condition was rated 76 percent good to excellent.
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