Most crops behind last year's progress
Planting progress was made early in the week with 3.9 days suitable for fieldwork in the past seven days for the week ending May 22, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, South Dakota Field Office, on May 23.
Dry weather for parts of the week allowed for this progression, but all crops, except sorghum, were still behind last year's progress and the five-year averages. Farm activities included planting, fertilizing, repairing fences, and moving cattle to pastures.
This report was based on information from county Extension educators, Farm Service Agency county directors, and other reporters across the state.
A large upper air low pressure area impacted the state during most of the week, this according to the State Climate Office of South Dakota. Southeasterly winds brought ample moisture to the state. Precipitation gradually crossed the state from mid-week on dropping some very heavy amounts in the western part of the state. These led to flooding of roads in Butte County and other minor flooding.
Except for a few isolated stations, the whole state received above average precipitation. Most of the state recorded over an inch with several stations above three inches. Hot Springs had the largest total for the week at 3.71 inches; Faulkton had the least at 0.66 inches. The additional precipitation brought totals up since April 1 to above average over most of the state. Only a few scattered locations were below average. The most below average was 1.13 inches at Pickstown. Porcupine at 2.47 inches was the most above average since April 1.
Average temperatures were mostly in the 50s F for the week. These were consistently below average across the state. A few stations in the east were near average. Coldest temperatures below average were generally across the west. Pickstown and Yankton again shared the high temperature of the week at 78 degrees F. Kennebec had the lowest temperature at 26 degrees F. Accumulated GDDs continue to lag, ranging from roughly six to 10 days behind across the state.
Despite the overall colder than average temperatures, soil temperatures warmed several degrees statewide. All locations now had 4 inch soil temperatures in the 50s F. Oacoma had the warmest soil temperature at 59 F; Bowdle was the lowest at 51 F.
Although gains were made in the percentage of small grains planted over the last week, they are still behind last year's progress. Spring wheat planting was estimated at 89 percent for the state, compared to 95 percent last year and 98 percent for the five-year average. Eighty-four percent of the oats have been planted, down from 90 percent for last year. Sixty-two percent of the barley has been planted, compared to 85 percent last year. Winter wheat growth was still considerably below average at 25 percent now in the boot stage, compared to last year's 45 percent. Corn and soybeans planted made substantial progress, with corn at 73 percent complete and soybeans at 21 percent complete. Even with the considerable improvement, they are still behind the 5- year averages of 78 percent and 36 percent, respectively, due to saturating rains late in the week.
The calving season was right on schedule with the previous and 5-year averages, with 95 percent complete. Sixty-six percent of cattle have been moved to pasture, compared to 68 percent in the previous year. Feed supplies, with 93 percent rated adequate to surplus, were ahead of the 5 year average of 87 percent. Stock water supplies remained stable with 100 percent rated adequate to surplus.