Farmers were finally able to make significant planting progress
by Reed Anfinson, Editor
Minnesota’s farmers were finally able to make significant planting progress during the week ending Sunday, according to the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service.
Soil temperatures have warmed and wet areas have dried out allowing spring planting to get into full swing. But the first days of May were reluctant to let go of the early spring chill.
Benson set a record low temperature early Sunday morning when it fell to 23 degrees shortly after 5 a.m. The old record was 29 degrees set in 1960. A record low was tied earlier this month when it fell to 19 degrees May 3. It also hit 19 degrees in 2005.
A day after Sunday’s record low, Monday saw the high reach 86 degrees and Tuesday’s forecast was for a high near 90 degrees. The forecast for the next week is for highs in the mid to upper 70s with lows in the 50s and 60s. The average high for May 15 is 71 degrees and the average low 47 degrees.
The area may have also seen its last frost with Sunday’s 23-degree reading.
It is getting late in the spring to still be seeing temperatures below 32 degrees. That latest freezing temperature on record came when it fell to 28 degrees in Benson on May 22 in 1963. Only five times in the past 61 years has a freezing temperature been recorded after May 15. There are no lows in the 30s forecast in the next 10 days.
Corn was 18 percent planted as of Sunday, well behind both last year’s 86 percent and the average of 68 percent. Sugarbeets are 50 percent planted, compared to 100 percent last year, and the average of 70 percent.
Soybeans are just 2 percent planted compared to 40 percent at this time last year and a five-year average of 26 percent.
Oats were 33 percent planted, compared with 100 percent last year and the five-year average of 79 percent. Spring wheat is 19 percent planted, compared with 100 percent last year and the average of 65 percent. Barley is 8 percent planted, compared with 100 percent last year and the average of 62 percent.
2013 Spring Planting
Crop Planted Last week 2012 5-yr average
Corn 18 2 86 68
Soybeans 2 0 40 26
Sugarbeets 50 4 100 70
Oats 33 9 100 79
Wheat 19 2 100 65
Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 1 percent very short, 15 percent short, 70 percent adequate, and 14 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 9 percent very short, 30 percent short, 56 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus.