Green is the color farmers like to see as the calendar turns to May. But while some growers in the central Corn Belt report good progress, the only thing emerging on others’ fields to the north and west are snow drifts.
Futures markets set back Friday on forecasts that hinted at drier and perhaps warmer weather in the second week of May. But right now growers are bundling up, and keeping machinery parked.
“Very cold, snowing currently,” reported a grower Friday near Elgin, Nebraska, in the northeast part of the state.
“Snow on the rooftop this morning,” a Missouri grower reported yesterday.
“Cold and wet,” summed up another producer from western Minnesota. ”Below freezing for second night in a row and a 3rd coming tonight. Chance of snow Sunday into Monday. Haven’t turned a wheel since Monday, and is looking like we won’t be back in the field ‘til middle of next week at best.”
Still, farmers reported average corn planting progressing about 10% in the past week. USDA Monday reported 17% of the crop planted. Though soybean planting got off to a fast start last week, growers achieved little progress in the past week.
While growers in the north and west kept seed in the bag, fearing emergence issues, others were making fast progress. Corn went in the ground fast in central and northern Illinois, and those 100% planted were fortunate enough to get a rain behind their efforts.
“Most farmers in the area have finished corn planting before the rain yesterday,” noted a farmer Thursday northeast of Bloomington, Illinois. “More than usual have moved right into soybean planting.”
Others in Illinois were waiting on soybeans, watching winter wheat that is heading ahead of schedule. Those fields appeared safe from the threat of frost damage, but other winter wheat producers weren’t so sure. Some wheat and alfalfa fields were already being plowed up after suffering winterkill.
“Heavy losses,” said a western Minnesota grower. “Most being destroyed."
What’s happening in your area? Feedback From The Field, Farm Futures’ interactive tool lets you share what’s going on in your fields 24/7.And it’s optimized for smart phones, so you can update conditions whether you’re in the office or out in the field.
Click this Feedback From The Field link to enter your data. For starters, we want to know how planting and emergence are going. You can also rate crops in your area as they emerge. We’ll update reports weekly with the interactive map below that lets you see what other growers are saying around the country.
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Feedback from the Field - April 24, 2017 - Growers report slow start in northwest Corn Belt