USDA gives weekly update
For the week ending April 28, 2013, warmer weather at the end of the week melted the remaining snow in open areas, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, North Dakota Field Office. However, the rapid snow melt has caused overland flooding in some areas. The only lingering snow is limited to tree lines and other protected areas.
The warmer temperatures allowed for better calving and lambing conditions for livestock producers. Though, the lack of pasture availability has caused some concern because of producers needing to rely on feeding already short forage supplies. There are some locations that have hay available locally, but they are not accessible due to muddy yards and soft roads.
The shrinking snow cover averaged 1.3 inches across the state. The wet conditions resulted in only 1.0 day suitable for fieldwork. The first fields of spring wheat and oats were planted with the average starting date for fieldwork May 3.
Topsoil moisture supplies rated 1 percent very short, 11 percent short, 71 percent adequate and 17 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were 4 percent very short, 30 percent short, 61 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus.
Field Crops Report
Spring wheat seeding rated only 2 percent complete, well behind last year at 63 percent and 27 percent average. Oats seeding rated 1 percent complete, behind 54 percent last year and 22 percent average.
Livestock, Pasture and
Calving was 83 percent complete, while lambing was 90 percent complete and shearing 95 percent complete. Cattle and calf conditions rated 2 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 64 percent good and 7 percent excellent. Cattle and calves death loss reported at 6 percent below average, 82 percent average, and 12 percent above average.
Sheep and lamb conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 64 percent good, and 8 percent excellent. Sheep and lambs death loss reported at 12 percent below average, 79 percent average and 9 percent above average.
Hay and forage supplies rated 6 percent very short, 32 percent short, 59 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus. Stock water supplies were 4 percent very short, 14 percent short, 79 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus.