Crop watch: Farmers still ahead of 2002 progress

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SALEM, Ohio – Ohio farmers contending with heavy rains and flooded fields are still ahead of last year with their crops, according to the most recent reports from the National Ag Statistics Service.

Reporters throughout the state rated less than one day suitable for fieldwork for the week ending May 18 and no additional corn acreage has been planted, but 86 percent of the state’s crop is in the ground and 72 percent is emerged.

In planting, Ohio farmers are 21 days ahead of last year.

More than half the corn crop was rated good to excellent condition.

In various locations, some corn has turned yellow from flooding. With additional rains across the state last week, producers are still worried about damaged crops.

Keystone crop. Pennsylvania farmers are slightly behind Ohio but still going at a faster pace than last year.

Field observers said planting was 64 percent complete and 24 percent emerged, 4 percent ahead of last year.

Both numbers are just short of the five-year average, yet states in the eastern Corn Belt remain ahead of their five-year average pace.

Soybeans. Forty-six percent of soybeans are planted and 31 percent are emerged in Ohio, besting last year’s 7 percent planting delay.

Planting was 16 percent complete in the Keystone State, equal to last year’s pace but 10 points behind normal for this date.

Wheat and oats. Nationwide, 56 percent of winter wheat was headed, ahead of last year and the five-year average.

Above-normal temperatures stimulated development and yielded double-digit increases in the percent headed during the week.

Closer to home, crop watchers report all winter wheat is jointed and 17 percent headed across Ohio.

Reporters rated nearly all winter wheat as good to excellent condition, but the wet, humid weather is causing some concern about fungi and rust developing in wheat.

Nearly all oats is emerged in both states, on track with national figures.

Hay and pastures. Farmers harvested 4 percent of alfalfa hay and 2 percent of other hay last week in the Buckeye State.

Respondents estimated pastures at 75 percent good to excellent condition but reported weevils in alfalfa fields in some locations.

Continuing rains in Pennsylvania are improving pasture conditions there as well.

Precipitation. Since April 1, all areas of Ohio except the northeast region have measured more than 7 inches of precipitation.

The northeast region recorded just more than 5.8 inches. A high 9.36 inches was measured in the south central part of the state.

Across the state line, Springboro in northwestern Pennsylvania measured 6.67 inches of rain, and Waynesburg (8.14 inches) in the southwestern region received the most precipitation since April 1.

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