It’s time to think about getting in the fields. Hopefully, Mother Nature will cooperate.
“Once the fields are open, there will be a lot of activity in the fields in one big wave,” noted Mark Rosenberg, Agronomy field specialist from the Aberdeen Extension Center. “Cooler weather has resulted in lower soil temperatures, and the added snowfall has delayed fields being open for planting. Everybody is taking it in stride; however, we’ve got some good moisture melting into that top soil, which will really help the pastures and stock dams. We won’t know for a week or two how the spring planting season will go concerning the spring wheat. Hopefully the days won’t get away from us. The first of May is when most farmers want the wheat in by. Spring wheat thrives in cooler weather. A week or 10 days into May would be the latest one would want to wait.”
Laura Edwards, climate field specialist with SDSU Extension, guesstimates the soil temp – in the low to mid 30˚’s now at the two and four inch depths.
“Around us the soil is thawed out four inches down and maybe eight inches. Recent studies on stream flows show that there is not a high runoff rate, indicating the snow melt is seeping or infiltrating down into the soils, which is good for producers. It’s replenishing our soil moisture,” Edwards continued. “This spring is a 180˚ turn from last year at this time, when farmers got an early start in planting. Our cool spring and snowfall has delayed area farmers getting in the fields. There has been some spring wheat planted in the south central part of the state. We carried over a large deficit from last year in soil moisture, so this spring’s snowfall has been good for producers in that aspect.”