Minnesota farmers took advantage of the 2.7 days suitable for fieldwork to start planting small grains during the week ending April 5, 2015, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. This was the most days suitable to start the growing season since 2012.

Frost was reportedly still coming out of the ground in the northern two-thirds of the state, and producers were waiting to evaluate the extent of winter kill in alfalfa. Field activities for the week included applying fertilizer,

spreading manure, and tilling fields.

Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 5 percent very short, 35 percent short, 59 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 4 percent very short, 35 percent short, 61 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus.

Five percent of Minnesota’s oat acreage was planted, over 2 weeks ahead of last year but 3 days behind the five-year average. There were scattered reports of barley and spring wheat being planted, except in the northern part of the state.

Pasture condition rated 4 percent very poor, 18 percent poor, 56 percent fair, 22 percent good, and 0 percent excellent. Respondents reported that dry conditions have limited pasture growth. Livestock producers reported calving progressing with no major complications.

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