on Thursday, May 30, 2019
by USDA; Farm News Media
Prolonged cooler temperatures and excessive rain showers continue to delay corn and soybean planting progress, according to the latest planting progress report from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), Great Lakes Region.
Looking at data from the National Centers for Environmental Information, Michigan has received 37.9” of rain from May 1, 2018 – April 30, 2019 — the third wettest 12-month period in history.
As a result, 69% of Michigan’s farmland is rated as “Surplus” for topspoil moisture. Subsoil moisture is equally problematic with 55% of the state’s acres rated as “Surplus,” meaning an extended dry-spell is needed before farmers can resume normal fieldwork activity.
According to Theresa Sisung, Associate Field Crops and Advisory Team Specialist with Michigan Farm Bureau, the USDA’s May 28 planting progress report reflected the slowest planting pace in Michigan on record for corn with only 33% of the state’s acres planted compared to the five-year average of 73%.
Planting progress for soybeans is the fifth slowest with only 23% of the state’s acres planted, compared to the five-year average of 52%.
“This has been an incredibly challenging spring with almost unprecedented rainfall,” said Sisung. “Farmers have been working hard to get crops planted when the weather cooperates but unfortunately those windows of opportunity have been few and far between. As we near the final June 5 planting date for corn it is very important for farmers to talk to their crop insurance agent about their options and to run the numbers to see what is best for their individual farm.”
Roger Weiss is a dairy farmer near Frankenmuth, Mich., milking cows and raising all their feed, says the recent rains have hampered the progress of his corn and soybeans crops.
“The rain we had in the early morning of this past Saturday was something else,” said Weiss. “We received 4.5 inches in about three hours. Feeding cows was a challenge to say the least with water everywhere.”
Weiss reported that most of his corn acres are planted, with most of it emerged. “We have a third of our soybean acres planted, with none up to speak of,” he said. “And if some is in the lower areas, it’s likely covered with dirt that’s flowed down the hill. If there’s a bright spot, it’s our alfalfa that seems okay.”