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Kentucky Wheat, Strawberries Monitored for Freeze Damage
Kentucky Ag Connection - 04/06/2021

Kentucky experienced below normal temperatures and rainfall over the past week. Precipitation for the week totaled 0.90 inches, 0.11 inches below normal. Temperatures averaged 47 degrees for the week, 4 degrees cooler than normal. Topsoil moisture was rated 2 percent very short, 1 percent short, 71 percent adequate, and 26 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 2 percent very short, 2 percent short, 73 percent adequate, and 23 percent surplus. Days suitable for fieldwork averaged 4.2 out of a possible seven.

Primary activities for this week included seeding tobacco transplants and preparing fields for planting. Cold temperatures were prevalent through most of the week before giving way to warm weather over the weekend. The warm up allowed farmers to resume spraying and fertilizing fields for the 2021 crop season. A very small amount of corn has been planted at this juncture, however farmers will ramp up fieldwork in the coming weeks.

Winter wheat is in mostly good condition at this time; however, there were multiple nights of sub-freezing temperatures across the state. With that said, very little freeze damage is reported currently. Alfalfa also shows very little freeze damage, however for both crops, the damage may not be readily apparent. Strawberries were susceptible to the untimely freeze and, like alfalfa and wheat, will be monitored over the foreseeable future.

Despite the cold snap, pastureland is in mostly good condition with 32 percent of feed for cattle coming from grazing. Warmer weather should quickly nullify the damage by the recent cold stretch and allow pasture growth to strengthen. Livestock condition is good at this time and will continue to improve with spring weather.

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