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Kentucky farmers slowed by wet weather

Kentucky farmers slowed by wet weather

By Blake Jackson

Kentucky agriculture saw above-average temperatures and rainfall over the past week. With 2.56 inches of rain (1.33 inches above normal) and temperatures averaging 66 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees above normal), fieldwork opportunities were limited.

Topsoil moisture levels were favorable, with 58% adequate and 40% surplus. Subsoil moisture followed a similar trend, with 64% adequate and 32% surplus. However, there were pockets of very short and short subsoil moisture (4%).

Fieldwork averaged only 2.6 suitable days out of a possible seven. Primary activities during these limited windows included planting corn, soybeans, and tobacco. Unfortunately, the excessive rain caused flash flooding in some areas, potentially damaging recently emerged plants.

The heavy rains significantly impacted planting progress, especially in southern Kentucky. Corn planting currently sits at 58% complete, lagging last year's 72% at this time. Soybeans face a similar situation, with 40% planted compared to 45% last year.

Despite the challenges, tobacco transplant supplies remained adequate at 100%. The size distribution of transplants showed 6% under 2 inches, 30% between 2-4 inches, and 64% exceeding 4 inches.

The winter wheat crop continues to mature favorably, with 87% now headed. Overall conditions remain good, with 71% reported as good and 17% as excellent.

The warm temperatures and wet weather have benefited pastures, with 69% reported in good condition and 11% excellent. However, persistent rain likely prevented most producers from completing their first hay cutting.

Kentucky farmers will be hoping for drier conditions in the coming weeks to allow for more progress with planting and hay production.

Photo Credit: gettyimages-sasiistock

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Categories: Kentucky, Crops, Corn, Soybeans

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