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Indiana's Spring Planting Report
Indiana Ag Connection - 04/03/2024

Mild weather conditions have swept across Indiana, paving the way for favorable fieldwork opportunities across the state. According to Nathanial Warenski, State Statistician at the USDA NASS Indiana Field Office, these conditions have greatly facilitated planting preparations for farmers.

Topsoil moisture levels have been reported as predominantly adequate or even in surplus, standing at 78 percent. This abundance of moisture bodes well for the upcoming planting season, providing an optimal environment for seeds to germinate and crops to thrive.

Temperature trends have also been notably mild, with the average temperature for the week ending March 31 reaching 49.8 degrees Fahrenheit. This marks a deviation of 4.2 degrees above the state's normal average. Coupled with the favorable moisture levels, these conditions offer an ideal start for the agricultural calendar.

Overall mild weather, precipitation levels for the same period were slightly below average, totaling 0.63 inches statewide—0.27 inches lower than the usual. However, this variance is not expected to significantly impact planting activities, given the surplus moisture in the soil.

Fieldwork opportunities were abundant, with 4.4 days deemed suitable for agricultural tasks. This ample window allowed farmers to engage in various activities essential for planting preparations, including tillage, the application of fertilizers and herbicides, and the installation of tile drainage systems to optimize water management.

Of particular note is the progress of winter wheat jointing, which has outpaced the five-year average pace. Despite reports of high winds and an isolated tornado in Southeast Indiana, the condition of the winter wheat crop remains robust, with 75 percent rated as good to excellent.

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