The first Weekly Crop-Weather Report for the 2012 growing season from the USDA NASS Minnesota Field Office acknowledges noteworthy warmth and planting.
A mild, dry winter, followed by record-breaking warmth in March, allowed producers to begin planting in central and southern areas of the state. As of April 1, 3.9 days were rated suitable for fieldwork statewide. Producers anticipated full scale fieldwork to begin on April 12, 7 days ahead of average.
Spring wheat was 3 percent planted, compared to 0 percent last year and 0 percent for the five year average. Oats were 18 percent planted, compared to 0 percent last year and average. Barley was 6 percent planted, compared to 0 percent last year and average. Three percent of land was prepared for corn and 1 percent was prepared for soybeans.
Other farm activities included equipment maintenance, fertilizer application, and spring calving.
Statewide average temperatures were 10.4 degrees above normal this past week. Rain helped replenish soil moisture which has been lacking since late last summer. Amounts ranged from .69 inch in north central areas to .13 inch in east central areas. However, areas in the southern third of the state continue to be rated as undergoing a severe drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 12 percent very short, 42 percent short, 43 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 18 percent very short, 50 percent short, and 32 percent adequate.
Source: USDA-NASS Minnesota Field Office