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NYS Farmers Continue to Battle Rain and Wet Soil
New York Ag Connection - 05/21/2019

New York averaged 2.0 days suitable for field work.

Rain and wet soils continued throughout this past week in much of the state with only a few warm, drier spots. Many aspects of field work, and particularly plantings, fell behind due to conditions or to shift to cutting hay and alfalfa in areas that were dry enough. A few operators planted corn around wet areas where capable. Vineyards on Long Island benefitted from warmer temperatures as growth accelerated and crews removed excess shoots from vines.

Reporters are from Extension Service (Ext), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), Conservation District (CD), farmers, commodity specialists, or other knowledgeable individuals.

Broome County; Maria Heath: Water still sitting in low areas. Fields being planted around those areas just to get stuff planted. Corn may stop being planted to get alfalfa fields chopped. A lot of corn still needs to be planted.

Cayuga County; Colleen Cargile, Cayuga County FSA: Warmer and drier weather was welcomed this week. It allowed farmers to finally get out into the fields for a couple of days. Although much of the ground could still use a few days to dry out, some were lucky enough to get corn planted on a few of their drier fields. Hopefully, this pattern of warm, dry weather continues so that everything dries out and farmers can finally get their crops planted. A change in the weather pattern would also be beneficial for the alfalfa seedings that were planted last summer/fall. I have observed many of those fields turning yellow due to the excess rain, I think higher temperatures and dry weather will do them some good.

Columbia/ Greene Counties; Matthew Forrest: Continued rainy cool weather has delayed field work and emergence of already planted crops especially sweetcorn and corn for GR or SG. A few nice days this week have helped to dry out fields and with warmer weather expected, the pace might pick up. Grass forage crops are ready to be cut. Alfalfa is a little bit behind that.

Delaware County; Mariane Kiraly, Cornell Cooperative Extension: Conditions remain wet and fields are soft with wet areas. Grass is ready to mow when we get drier weather. Some farmers are planting corn around wet holes and/or have procured earlier season varieties.

Erie County; Emily Miller, Erie Co. Farm Service Agency: Wet conditions in Erie County continue to delay fieldwork, but livestock are going out on pastures now.

Genesee/ Niagara/ Orleans Counties; Nathan R Herendeen: Manure application, N on wheat, and some wheat spraying for weeds. Corn planting started. Fields still have many wet areas.

Livingston County; Dean R Pendergast: Very limited field work and planting. Hay is moving slowly and likely two weeks from first cutting. Ground temperature has not advanced much to date.

Madison County; Jessica Pylman: It was another rainy week. There were approx. 3 good days however many fields are so wet, 3 days of nicer weather didn't help farmers much get into the fields. Northern Madison County was hit with heavy rains Sunday night and had a tornado watch.

Ontario County; Joann Rogers, County Executive Director FSA: Ontario County had some warm weather at the end of the week but the continued rain has producers delayed in their field work.

Oswego County; Ellen deMey: Persistent rain has prohibited most field work despite a day or two of sunny weather; soil is still saturated and the forecast does not look forgiving for the coming week.

Rensselaer/ Saratoga/ Warren/ Washington Counties; David Holck, USDA-Farm Service Agency: The wet weather pattern continued this past week, with rain on Tuesday and heavy thunderstorms on Sunday that produced torrential rain. Some producers have noticed a high level of winter kill on some alfalfa fields. Producers are trying to switch to shorter season corn varieties. If things don't change soon, we will have a lot of late planted and prevented planted.

Schuyler/ Seneca Counties; Kathy Mastellar, CED, Seneca/Schuyler FSA: No good news this week. We had rain Sunday through Wednesday and then drier weather Thursday through Saturday; however, heavy storms were set to come thru Sunday, which will set everything back again.

Suffolk County; Alice V Wise: Shoot growth has accelerated in Long Island vineyards thanks to warmer temperatures. Vineyard crews are disbudding, which is the removal of excess shoots from vine trunks.

Yates County; Amy Parmelee, Farm Service Agency: And the rains continue. The ground is still cold.

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