April Showers Bring May….Freezes?
Just when we thought we had escaped the evil clutches of the polar vortex and that cold air…it returns.
Last week we were enduring enjoying temperatures in the mid-80’s. We even set a record last week for having the hottest day since they started keeping track.
But this week has been a completely different story. We did start planting corn and managed to get about 1/3 of our total corn acres planted. We usually wait and plant the soybeans after the corn, so none of those have been planted.
However, the rain has made it sloppy and muddy out in the fields, which means we can’t go in there. I’ve also heard from many readers and friends in different parts of the country that have been experiencing similar conditions.
Interestingly enough, last year at this time we had planted almost 600 acres. The weather was perfect for it.
Last night, we had a frost with temperatures dipping fairly close to freezing. You may be familiar with the fact that frost and freezes can hurt more sensitive plants, such as flowers (that’s why you’re supposed to cover them up or bring them inside). Fruit, which is also very prevalent in our area, is prone to damage from frost and freezing. A couple years ago, the weather conditions worked out just right so that we didn’t have any local peaches, cherries, or apples.
No doubt many farmers were up late last night watching the temperatures and hoping that their crops were going to be okay.
I know farmers talk a lot about the weather, but it really does dictate so much of how a growing season will pan out. All it takes is one late freeze, a bad summer storm, or early snow to really mess everything up.
If you’re interested, you can check out AgWeb, which posts a map showing how many acres of soybeans have been planted (it’s updated every Monday afternoon). As of right now, it looks like only 10% of Michigan soybeans have been planted. To keep things in perspective though, this week last year we were only at 11%.