According to data collected from a series of USDA “State Crop Progress and Condition” reports, farmers in southern states have begun crop planting but this trend slows substantially in more northern locations due to unfavorable weather conditions and lasting effects of a long winter.
Data gathered from Georgia’s Field Office shows there were 5 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending Sunday, April 6, 2014, as farmers planted 59% of corn, just behind the five year average (61%) for this point in time. However, moving northward, suitable days for fieldwork lessen, as Tennessee saw just 3.5 days and Missouri reported 3 days. Corn planting in Missouri trails five-year averages (2% vs. 7%) while Tennessee lags significantly behind (2% vs. 12%). The delayed start in planting and limited days of fieldwork are likely due unfavorable weather conditions and lingering winter conditions.
Tim Campbell, a crop producer in Dyer County, Tennessee, says in the crop report, “Producers are still plagued with wet, rainy weather which has hindered corn planting. Wheat is progressing well after tough winter. Second fertilizer applications are basically complete, and some wheat weed control applications going out between showers and where drier fields will allow. A very few spotty acres of corn have been planted. Growers perceive that they are late with their corn planting compared to past years but we still have ample time. Everyone is just hoping for drier, sunny weather to allow for field operations.”
Crop producers in northern states may have to make up for lost time as spring weather arrives in their areas, while farmers in southern states seem to be on-schedule with getting crops in the ground.