Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Weather Causes Problems for Farmers Across NYS

The weather has been tricky for farmers in the last few weeks, with days and days of rain and not much sun.

Here's what the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Agricultural Statistics Services reports for the week of June 10-16:

WEATHER:  The week was rather active across New York state, with various types of weather affecting the area.  High pressure controlled the weather across the region on Sunday and Monday. A low pressure system brought locally heavy rain to the region from Tuesday through early Wednesday, with rainfall accumulations reaching between a half inch and two inches.

Another low pressure system came into the region with later in the week with more locally heavy rain late Thursday into early Friday. Rainfall accumulation from Thursday into Friday totaled another half inch to 2 inches across the region. Temperatures for the week were generally below normal, with highs in the 70s to around 80 on dry days, and temperatures ranged from the upper 50s to the upper 60s on rainy days.

CROPS:  There were 2 days suitable for fieldwork.  Soil moisture was rated 30 percent adequate and 70 percent surplus. Condition of oats was 20 percent fair, 68 percent good, and 12 percent excellent.  Winter wheat was rated 1 percent poor, 15 percent fair, 65 percent good, and 19 percent excellent.  Hay crops were 7 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 54 percent good, and 14 percent excellent.

The first clover timothy cutting was 60 percent complete compared to 66 percent in 2012.  The first alfalfa cutting was 74 percent complete compared to 78 percent in 2012.  The first cutting of grass silage was 75 percent complete compared to 84 percent last year. Corn was 93 percent planted compared to 97 percent in 2012 and behind the 95 percent five year average. Potatoes were 90 percent planted compared to 96 percent in 2012 and was below the five year average of 97 percent. 

Soybeans were 68 percent planted compared to 92 percent in 2012 and behind the five year average of 87 percent.  

In Madison County, wet weather prevented field work, and many low, poorly drained areas were under water. Earlier planted corn looked good, while corn planted later did not. Some second cut grass stands in the northern part of Madison County were ready to be harvested.

In Cayuga County, fields were flooded and wet conditions delayed spraying. Field work came to a halt in Cortland County due to wet conditions.  The soil was too saturated to support equipment without damaging the field.  Plowing continued between periods of rain to turn over hay fields after first cutting.

Corn planting intentions in Jefferson County changed every day due to wet conditions. Many hoped to finish planting soybeans as soon as the weather cooperated. With well over 5 inches of rain for the month, farmers in St. Lawrence County had few opportunities to make first cut hay silage and little opportunity to make dry hay. No additional crops were planted in Seneca County due to an additional 2 inches of rain. The lack of dry weather created additional problems.

FRUIT:  Apple conditions for the week were 23 percent fair, 53 percent good, and 24 percent excellent.  Peaches were 17 percent fair, 80 percent good, and 3 percent excellent.  Pears were 14 percent fair, 79 percent good, and 7 percent excellent.

Sweet cherries were 6 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 68 percent good, and 4 percent excellent. Tart cherries were 8 percent poor, 39 percent fair, 52 percent good, and 1 percent excellent. Grapes were 6 percent fair, 86 percent good, and 8 percent excellent.

VEGETABLES:  Sweet corn was 73 percent planted, compared to 79 percent in 2012, and was below the 88 percent five year average. Sweet corn was 38 percent fair, 58 percent good, and 4 percent excellent.  Onions were 22 percent fair, 71 percent good and 7 percent excellent.

Snap beans were 38 percent planted, compared to 64 percent in 2012, and behind the 66 percent five year average. Cabbage was 83 percent planted, compared to 89 percent in 2012, and below the 86 percent five year average.

In Cayuga County, flooded fields prevented farmers from planting corn and beans.

LIVESTOCK:  Pasture was rated 3 percent poor, 18 percent fair, 60 percent good, and 19 percent excellent.

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