CROP and LIVESTOCK CONDITIONS South Dakota

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For the week ending April 21, 2013, cooler than normal temperatures, snow, and freezing rain continued to limit field work in most areas of the state, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, South Dakota Field Office. Average snow depth across the state was reported at 3.5 inches. Late spring storms continue to cause calving and lambing problems. With only 0.2 day suitable for fieldwork, planting activities were on hold. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 4 percent very short, 24 percent short, 69 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 32 percent very short, 43 percent short, 24 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. Major agricultural activities during the week included caring for livestock and preparing for spring planting.

Field Crops Report: Winter wheat condition rated 22 percent very poor, 31 percent poor, 41 percent fair, 6 percent good, and 0 percent excellent. Spring wheat seeding made no progress for the week, with only 6 percent complete, well behind last year at 90 percent and 40 percent average. Oats seeding rated 20 percent complete, behind 81 percent last year and 38 percent average. Barley seeding, at 7 percent complete, is also well behind 69 percent last year and 25 percent average.

Livestock, Pasture and Range Report: Calving was 68 percent complete and lambing 80 percent complete. Only 4 percent of cattle were reported as moved to pasture. Cattle and calf conditions rated 3 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 48 percent good, and 7 percent excellent. Cattle and calves death loss reported at 8 percent below average, 77 percent average, and 15 percent above average. Sheep and lamb conditions rated 0 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 21 percent fair, 59 percent good, and 15 percent excellent. Sheep and lambs death loss reported at 4 percent below average, 91 percent average, and 5 percent above average.

Pasture and range conditions rated 24 percent very poor, 32 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 7 percent good, and 0 percent excellent. Hay and forage supplies rated 27 percent very short, 34 percent short, 38 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. Stock water supplies were 23 percent very short, 32 percent short, 44 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus.

South Dakota

For the week ending April 21, 2013, cooler than normal temperatures have slowed the pace of snowmelt, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, North Dakota Field Office. The cooler temperatures and wet soils have delayed even further the start of fieldwork, with reports indicating that, on average, producers intend to begin fieldwork by May 5. Livestock producers are concerned with the shortage of hay supplies since pastures are not yet available for grazing. Also, the poor conditions are causing continued stress to those producers who are calving and lambing. Some calf and lamb losses were experienced due to the blizzard conditions that occurred on April 14. Temperatures across North Dakota last week were at least 9 degrees below normal, with the exception being the southwest part of the state where temperatures were 6 to 9 degrees below normal.

With the continued snow cover, averaging 5.9 inches across the state, there was only 0.1 day suitable for fieldwork. Although moisture supplies continue to improve, the 2013 planting progress remains well behind last year’s early progress and also behind the 5 year average. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 2 percent very short, 9 percent short, 74 percent adequate, and 15 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were 5 percent very short, 35 percent short, 56 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus.

Livestock, Pasture and Range Report: Calving was 75 percent complete, while lambing was 82 percent complete and shearing 91 percent complete. Cattle and calf conditions rated 2 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 20 percent fair, 65 percent good, and 8 percent excellent. Cattle and calves death loss reported at 6 percent below average, 82 percent average, and 12 percent above average. Sheep and lamb conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 19 percent fair, 66 percent good, and 10 percent excellent. Sheep and lambs death loss reported at 3 percent below average, 89 percent average, and 8 percent above average. Hay and forage supplies rated 6 percent very short, 27 percent short, 64 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus. Stock water supplies were 4 percent very short, 14 percent short, 80 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus.

Minnesota

Snow cover and precipitation during the week ending April 21st continued to limit field work in Minnesota, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service. The topsoil and subsoil moisture levels are slowly recharging between frosts. Temperatures remained below normal throughout much of the state. Snow covered areas and frozen ditches were still common in the northern parts of the state, yet water began flowing in thawed fields elsewhere. Field activities for the week consisted of adding bedding to muddy areas, moving animals around, spreading manure, cleaning up storm damage, and preparing equipment.

There were no days rated suitable for fieldwork statewide, compared with last year’s 3.2, and the average of 2.9. Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 3 percent very short, 14 percent short, 59 percent adequate, and 24 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated percent 18 very short, 38 percent short, 40 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus. Producers anticipate full scale fieldwork to begin on May 7th. Pasture conditions were rated 24 percent very poor, 17 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 23 percent good, and 1 percent excellent.

Nebraska

Recent cold, wet weather has slowed fieldwork in Nebraska as farmers get ready to plant crops and ranchers tend to their cattle.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday that soil moisture levels improved in eastern Nebraska, but most of the western counties received less than half an inch of moisture last week.

About 41 percent of the topsoil and 90 percent of the subsoil in the state rated short or very short on moisture.

The state’s wheat crop remains in bad shape with only 11 percent rating in either good or excellent shape.

About 76 percent of the cattle in the state rated in good or excellent condition. But 71 percent of the hay and forage supplies rated short or very short.