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Extent of Kentucky Wheat Freeze Becoming Evident
Kentucky Ag Connection - 06/02/2020

Kentucky experienced above normal temperatures and below normal rainfall over the past week. Precipitation for the week totaled 0.66 inches, 0.46 inches below normal. Temperatures averaged 71 degrees for the week, 3 degrees above normal. Topsoil moisture was rated 7 percent short, 67 percent adequate, and 26 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 4 percent short, 71 percent adequate, and 25 percent surplus. Days suitable for fieldwork averaged 4.3 out of a possible seven.

Primary activities for this week included planting of corn and soybeans, setting tobacco, and cutting hay. Fieldwork was disrupted sporadically during the week as farmers contended with scattered rain. The level of precipitation varied regionally with some areas experiencing weather more conducive to progress in the fields. Drier conditions prevailed statewide by the weekend allowing some headway on planting. Cutting of forage has really picked up as farmers take advantage of every opportunity. Soybean planting remains slightly ahead of both last year and the five year average. Corn planting is equal to this time last year, but slightly behind the five year average. The corn crop is 72 percent emerged while soybeans are 39 percent emerged. The average height of corn at this juncture is 9 inches. Tobacco setting is moving along at a steady pace, but is behind last year and the five year average.

The winter wheat crop was subject to damage from the freeze several weeks back. The extent of this damage is becoming evident and losses are likely for many producers. Despite the grim outlook for some wheat, the condition overall remains good. Corn and soybean condition continues to be reported as mostly good at this time. Pastures are showing good growth, but the persistent rain may take a toll from animal traffic.

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