Agriculture News: Weekly Crop and Weather Report

By Keenan Bishop, Published:

One responsibility of extension is to give updates to the Weekly Crop and Weather Report for the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). How else to get a better idea of the current status, trends and progress than to have at least one person in every county providing a weekly online report?

According to the most current summary (April 28), that last freeze we had damaged some fruit trees and early set vegetables. Freeze damage to apples was reported on 58 percent of the crop with 31 percent rated light, 20 percent moderate, and 7 percent severe.

Freeze damage to peaches was reported on 61 percent of the crop with 17 percent rated light, 15 percent moderate and 29 percent severe. Strawberry condition was rated as 2 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 20 percent fair, 64 percent good and 11 percent excellent. Condition of livestock was rated as 2 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 61 percent good and 10 percent excellent.

As of April 27, 32 percent of the corn crop had been planted, compared with 23 percent last year and the five-year average of 44. Seven percent of the corn crop has emerged, compared with 4 percent last year and the five-year average of 22 percent.

Soybean planting is in the beginning stages with 1 percent planted across the state, compared to the five-year average of 4 percent. One percent of winter wheat has headed compared to 7 percent last year and the five-year average of 28 percent.

Winter wheat is in mostly good to fair condition with 2 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 49 percent good and 15 percent excellent. The average height of wheat was 13 inches. Seeded tobacco transplants were reported in mostly good to excellent condition with 2 percent poor, 12 percent fair, 66 percent good and 20 percent excellent.

The warm, dry conditions of last week will likely really change things and maybe even allow for some hay to be mown, especially alfalfa. Still, pasture condition was rated as 3 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 52 percent good and 8 percent excellent.

Average height of alfalfa was 9 inches at the end of the week. The projected first cutting of alfalfa is May 14. Remember it is alfalfa weevil hatching time. Degree day accumulations are reaching totals where feeding damage should become apparent soon if the insect is at damaging levels.

The best weevil management decisions are based on stem sampling (http://www2.ca.uky.edu/entomology/entfacts/ef127.asp). If this information is not available, then control is recommended when feeding damage can be seen on 25 percent to 50 percent of the plant tips, and there are two or more live larvae per stem, according to Lee Townsend, UK entomologist.

KSU Third Thursday

Thursday at KSU’s Third Thursday Thing at the Kentucky State University Research Farm, there will be a program on food safety that will include using their mobile kitchen trailer. The program runs from 10  a.m.-3 p.m. For details contact Dr. Marion Simon at 502-597-6437 or marion.simon@kysu.edu.

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