It’s the first of May and there has been very little, if any, field work done in Clark County.
Although recent snows and freezing rains brought much needed moisture to part of South Dakota, it didn’t do much to bolster spring planting prospects according to the USDA National Agriculture Statistics service, South Dakota field office.
Mid-April, the average snow depth across the state was reported at 6.6 inches, and the latest round of storms ground spring field work to a halt. USDA says only .7 days were suitable for field work, which may lead to one of the latest planting seasons in recent history.
Mark Rosenberg, SDSU Extension Agronomist from the Aberdeen office, agrees that this may be one of the latest starts in a long, long time.
“Let the snow go away and the soil thaw before getting in the field. Get prepared as best you can. It’s not ideal what Mother Nature has done so far this spring, but there still are a lot of options out there,” Rosenberg said.
“The recommended planting time for spring wheat is April-May. The optimal planting time for corn and beans is mid to late May, but all three crops can be planted through mid June, but the later you plant, the greater the risks. Outside factors will weigh in like seed varieties and availability,” he ended.
Clark County Elevator manager Jeff Olson said he hasn’t heard of anyone around here getting into the field yet to plant. Rick Flatten, manager at Wheat Growers in Willow Lake, had the same to say of producers in the southern part of the state.
On Monday, the Willow Lake agronomists got into the alfalfa and hay fields to spread fertilizer, and Flatten estimates maybe the middle of this week they will be able to hit the grain fields.
In Clark, Monday was also the first time this spring the sprayers were able to hit the pastures. They were starting on spraying their first corn ground, 500 acres worth in the south end of the Raymond valley.
Rick Garvin, of the Agronomy Center at the Clark County Farmers Elevator, commented, “If we don’t get the rain forecast for Wednesday and Thursday, we should be running hard by the end of the week.”