The snow here around our home office in Princeton, Illinois is slowly beginning to melt. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit when I say melt because we still have more snow than grass. But, anyway, moving on. If you’re chomping at the bit to get back in the fields, or just chomping at the bit for warmer weather, this post may be beneficial to you.
Here is what some of our dealers have to say about this bizarre winter weather in March:
“The weather for February was one of the coldest on record. We had several days of -25 to -30 degrees Fahrenheit. The snow fall has been tremendous as well; more snow this year than we had in the last 10 years. We have 2-4 feet of snow in the fields currently. Frost line is down at least 2 feet. There are concerns about seeding. When snow melts and frost comes out, it could be pretty tough on seedings. This week is supposed to be in the 30’s. If that’s the case, we’ll see a lot of snow melt. It’ll be April before we can possibly do anything. Our weather comes from the Finger Lakes and Great Lakes. They’re both frozen indicating we are going to have a cooler, wetter spring than normal. The cold air coming off the ice takes longer to warm up the ground. We’re looking forward to warmer temps and getting in the fields. Everybody’s antsy because you can’t do anything here unless you ski or snow mobile.” – Tom Adams, New York
“It was up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit yesterday and it will be 50 again for quite a few days this week, which isn’t normal for us. We had 18 inches of snow for the winter and it’s 90% gone now. When the snow is melted, soil temperatures warm up much faster. We’ll see how long this warm weather will hold. Our crop insurance day for corn is April 10 so if you’re out there planting before that, you’re risking no insurance or no replant insurance. Most farmers will stick close to that. The National Weather Service has been dropping the word drought a little bit because of a lack of snow this winter, but it’s way too early to say that. We’ll leave that to the good Lord to decide what to do with the weather.” – Marlow Nash, Southeast North Dakota
“As of Friday morning the temperature was just hovering over 0 degrees Fahrenheit, but judging by the forecast for this week, we will trade our snow cover for mud. But we’ll take it. If the forecast continues to warm, I can see farmers getting out in the fields first part of April after everything starts to dry up a bit.” – Dean Craine, Illinois
“The temperature has been in the twenties for lows the first of the month. It’s wet but it should warm up quickly now. Corn is started to be planted in north Florida and south Georgia. A little delayed due to cold and wet weather. Middle Georgia planting will begin in the next week for the same reasons.” – Josh Boan, Florida
“Southeast Texas just got up to 4 inches of rain yesterday which is vital because it’s been dry for 6 weeks. It will take at least 10 days until farmers can start field work. This is a dry land scenario. Getting this moisture now will last a couple days and is critical to replenish soil moisture. Planting will probably start as soon as folks can get out without muddying everything up. Temperatures during these rains were in the 50’s and we had cold fronts before that. It’s supposed to climb back into the 70’s and it’ll start hitting 80 degrees Fahrenheit pretty soon. As always, corn growers down here will be dependent on timely in-season rains.” – Mark Egan, Texas
“We were sitting under a foot of snow on Friday. It’s a bit unusual for this time of year, but that’s what we’ve got. We’re not doing anything in the field. If we had a little window, we’d like to get sprayed here as soon as possible. We’re set up to do gypsum soon. We’re waiting for things to warm up to do some seeding. According to forecast we’ll be melting off by the first of the week. We don’t have any frozen ground so it will be a sloppy mess. If the ground is frozen underneath the snow we can deal with it, but not when it’s mud. Maybe end of next week or the following week we can do a little field work – new seedings, manure hauling, things like that.” – Ben Peachey, Kentucky (picture N/A)
Not from any of these areas, but still want an update? The National Corn Growers Association updates a national map with current soil temperatures every day. Here’s the day’s soil temps if you’re interested. Many of the southern states have hit or are getting close to the ideal temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
What’s the weather in your neck of the woods? Have you officially hit “mud season” yet?