Challenges exist to winter wheat, timely spring planting
For the week ending April 14, 2013, snow and freezing rain brought badly needed moisture to parts of the state and kept temperatures colder than normal. Average snow depth across the state was reported at 6.6 inches. Producers anticipate a late planting season for most crops. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 17 percent very short, 27 percent short, 52 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 39 percent very short, 44 percent short, 16 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. Winter wheat condition rated 30 percent very poor, 43 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 5 percent good, and 0 percent excellent. Six percent of spring wheat has been seeded, compared to 79 percent last year and 26 percent average.
Wet and chilly weather kept farmers out of fields this week. A series of storms brought heavy rain across southern Wisconsin and snow, sleet and freezing rain to the north. Water was reportedly standing in fields where soils are highly saturated or still frozen. Rivers and streams were reportedly at or near flood stage in some areas. Topsoil moisture was 32 percent surplus statewide. Temperatures remained below average and growing degree days were well below normal at all reporting stations. There were 0.0 days suitable for fieldwork this week. Statewide, spring tillage had not yet begun. Winter wheat was also greening up in some areas, though low temperatures and snowfall kept growth minimal. “Winter does not want to go away”
As the crop reporter in Wisconsin put it, “winter does not want to go away.” That is true throughout much of the Corn Belt, where cold soil temperatures and fields that were either ponded or snow-covered prevented much field activity. The market is beginning to take notice of the field conditions and the potential for another 10-days to two weeks before soils will be ready for cultivation and planting. At this point corn planting is well behind the pace of 2012, and somewhat behind the five-year average pace. Wheat crops in the Plains states are in sad shape with an abundance of acreage reported poor to very poor.