LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Kentucky experienced well below normal temperatures and slightly below normal precipitation over the past week. Precipitation for the week totaled 0.92 inches, 0.09 inches below normal. Temperatures averaged 50 degrees for the week, 7 degrees below normal. Topsoil moisture was rated 4 percent short, 77 percent adequate, and 19 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 4 percent short, 78 percent adequate, and 18 percent surplus. Days suitable for fieldwork averaged 4.6 out of a possible seven.
Primary activities for this week included planting corn and soybeans along with seeding tobacco transplants. A cold snap this week that included snowfall halted fieldwork and threatened previously planted crops. The weekend brought heavy rain through most of the state. Despite the adverse weather, farmers forged ahead and continued to make progress in the fields. Tobacco transplants are 86 percent seeded, trailing both last year and the five-year average. The transplants are in mostly good condition at this time with height rated as 35 percent less than 2 inches, 42 percent 2 – 4 inches, and 23 percent larger than 4 inches.
The average height of winter wheat is 19 inches at this time while 23 percent of the crop has headed. Wheat condition remains mostly good despite being subjected to two significant freezes. Current freeze damage for wheat is rated as 3 percent moderate, 20 percent light, and 77 percent with no damage. The crop will be observed for the next couple of weeks to see the extent any possible damage. Alfalfa freeze damage is rated as 10 percent moderate, 28 percent light, and 62 percent with no damage. Like the wheat crop, alfalfa will continue to be evaluated for adverse effects. The average height of alfalfa is 10 inches at this juncture. Both peaches and apples were susceptible to the recent cold weather and will be further assessed in the coming weeks. Apple freeze damage is rated as 5 percent severe, 25 percent moderate, 19 percent light, and 51 percent with no damage. Peach freeze damage is rated as 2 percent severe, 10 percent moderate, 16 percent light, and 72 percent with no damage. Pasture growth should rebound with warmer weather on the horizon.
— USDA, NASS, Kentucky Field Office
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