Dry weather was the rule across most of the Northeast last week, according to National Agricultural Statistics Service reports. As of May 5, the percentages of adequate to surplus soil moisture levels evaporated accordingly.
Everything was cool – as in cold – last week, slowing corn germination and pasture/hay growth. Top soil moisture levels were 98% adequate to surplus in both states, up slightly from the week before.
Maryland farmers had 40% of their corn planted, compared to 44% for the five-year average. Delaware corn growers had 55% of their crop planted, just 1% shy of the five-year average.
Barley and winter wheat were generally in good condition in both states. Maryland barley was 65% headed, compared to 43% for the five-year average. Delaware barley was 85% headed, compared to 43% for the five-year average. That suggests an earlier-than-normal harvest.
Wheat, on the other hand, was only 22% headed in Maryland, compared to 52% for recent years. Delaware wheat was only 12% headed, compared to 45% for the longer term.
This info via Extension, Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service reporters:
Rain is the watch word. More of its needed as the six New England states reported zero precipitation. Top soil moisture up and down the region averaged 68% adequate to surplus, compared to 83% a week ago and 89% a year ago. Most reporters mentioned rain was badly needed.
That spelled good planting weather, with 20% of silage corn planted, compared to just 5% for the five-year average. Sweet corn planting was 25% complete, compared to 15% for the five-year average.
Potato planting hit high-gear in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, reaching 70% and 65%, respectively, compared to only 50% and 45%, respectively, for the five-year average. Potato growers in Aroostook County, Maine, were going slow at planting where frost was still in the ground.