Looking good: Crops in the ground

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COLUMBUS – Across the country, spring planting is ahead of the average pace for all crops, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service report for the week ending May 4.

Planting marathon. Farmers across the state of Ohio participated in a planting marathon that saw five-year averages of many crops surpassed.

Producers planted large amounts of corn and sugarbeets. Growers also drilled soybeans and are just about finished planting the oat crop.

In Ohio, 99 percent of the oat crop has been planted, which is 29 days ahead of last year and 21 days ahead of the five-year average. About 57 percent has emerged.

Reporters estimate 83 percent of the corn crop has been planted. This is 34 days ahead of last year and 20 days ahead of the five-year average. Eight percent of corn plants have emerged.

Ohio soybean producers have 41 percent of their crop planted. This is 30 days ahead of 2002.

Warmer than average. The average temperature for Ohio was 59.8 degrees, 5.2 degrees above normal for the week ending Sunday, May 4.

Precipitation averaged 0.79 inches, 0.12 inches below normal. Growing degree days were 12 points above normal.

Pa. on a roll, too. Pennsylvania saw the best week of the season thus far in terms of number of days suitable for field work.

Some areas of the Commonwealth received rain while other areas remained dry. All areas experienced above normal temperatures.

The percent of spring plowing completed advanced to 63 percent, as farmers took advantage of the warm weather. Oats are now 79 percent complete planted, up 26 percent from last week.

Oats emerged increased to 35 percent, 18 percent behind 2002 and 8 percent behind the five-year average.

The percent of corn planted increased dramatically as well, to 26 percent complete, up 21 percent from last week.

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