Pests and diseases sometimes develop in patterns, and sometimes not. To get a sampling of what is happening in the Midwest, Michigan Farmer, Indiana Prairie Farmer and Ohio Farmer editors have teamed up and lured in, or more accurately roped in, a couple of observers in key parts of their states to report every two weeks on what's happening in their fields. Click on the map to see where each reporter is commenting from.
Janna Fritz -- The Thumb area in Michigan is wet. Various areas have seen as much as 22 inches over a month's time. Another rain on Tuesday, April 30 has pushed back planting at least another few days for many in the area. There are no crops planted to speak of with the exception of a few thousand acres of sugar beets. As compared to last year, many farmers feel behind and some have inquired about shortening their corn maturities. Warm temperatures and light winds should help dry things off and hopefully many will be heading to the fields in the next few days.
Dick Dobbins - Here in south central Michigan, we have experienced a very cold spring. Along with the cold, we just received about 5 inches of rain in the last 10 days. We did start some tillage work before the rain started, but have been idle since. Some of our neighbors did a small amount of field prep this past Saturday, but then the rain started again Sunday. We have started spraying for chick weed, henbit, dandelions and purple deadnettle. Since the temperature started rising, the weeds have really taken off. The soil temp is now in the mid 50s so when the soil dries out, I think wheels will be turning on every farm.
Dan Corcoran- I write this as I am sitting on an old tree stump here in Pike County. My truck pulling a trailer with two bulls to be let out to the cows on pasture is stuck and I am waiting for a tractor to come pull me out. This is a bad and good situation. Bad in that I am stuck, and like most of the cornbelt our planting progress is spotty. The good news is we have been in the fields. We started planting April 15, and that planting is just coming through the ground. We have 500+ acres of corn in and did start on beans last week, with 300 acres planted. My neighbors are spraying and getting ready to have a big push next dry warm spell. Only a few have planted waiting for warmer temps. Pastures are trying grow and for us, the sooner the better. Our alfalfa and grass hay will need to produce heavily this year, as we depleted our hay supply this last winter. I have not seen much of a bug problem yet but that can change fast with warm weather. Spring always is a great time of the year for farming it always brings new hope. I know we always feel this is going to be a great year. It's great to be farming.
Luke VanTilburg - There is no progress in field work in Mercer County, Ohio. Very little tillage done. No planting progress, and water is still standing in a few low areas. With any luck, maybe this weekend we can get back in the fields. There has been a little bit of burn down applied and most wheat top dressed, but that is about it. Most wheat looks pretty rough.
Bill Pickart - We've had lots of rain in late April and there was minimal field work done. This area usually is planted early, but not this year. However, it looks like we might miss rain this weekend, and if we do, planting will pick up. We are definitely behind normal at this point.
Jim Facemire - There is very little done here. We sprayed some burndown and planted a couple small fields of corn on soils that drain well. However, it looks like we wiell get ample rain through early week of May 6. If so that will shut things down again. People are looking for spots to run but we ae definitely behind normal.
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