As of Sunday, Nebraska farmers had 70% of their corn planted this spring, behind last year’s 86% complete, which is also the five-year average, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service.
But rainy and cool conditions this week will put both planting and corn and soybean growth further behind schedule.
On Tuesday, 1.01 inches of rain was recorded by 6 p.m. and the rain continued through the evening.
Sunday’s crop report said emerged corn was at 27%, behind the 49% both last year and average.
Nationwide, corn planting in the 18 major corn-planting states was at 49% complete, compared to last year’s 78% complete and the five-year average of 80%.
With soybeans, which are Nebraska’s second-leading crop behind corn, planting was 40% complete, behind last year’s 64% completion and the five-year average of 54% complete.
Emerged soybeans were 7%, behind the 22% last year and the 14% average.
Nationwide, among the 18 major soybean-planting states, only 19% of the soybeans are in the ground, compared to last year’s 53% and the five-year average of 53%.
As of Sunday, Nebraska, while behind in soybean planting, was more fortunate than other major soybean-planting states. In Illinois, only 9% of the soybeans were planted, compared to the five-year average of 51%. Indiana only had 6% of its soybeans planted, Iowa 27%, Missouri 9% and South Dakota 4%.
For the Grand Island area, the forecast for Wednesday calls for a mostly sunny day after a rainy Tuesday. The high will be 68 degrees, with west-southwest winds at 15-20 mph and gusts as high as 30 mph. But there’s a 20% chance for showers Wednesday night after 1 a.m., with a low of about 48.
According to the National Weather Service-Hastings forecast through Memorial Day, the weather will continue to be wet and cooler than average.
On Thursday, showers are likely, with thunderstorms also possible after 4 p.m. It will be mostly cloudy, with a high near 69. Winds will be from the east at 10 to 15 mph, with gusts as high as 25 mph. Chance of precipitation is 70%. New rainfall amounts between a quarter and half an inch are possible.
On Thursday night, there will be showers and possibly a thunderstorm before 1 a.m., then a chance of showers. The low will be about 52. Chance of precipitation is 80%. New rainfall amounts between a half and three-quarters of an inch are possible.
Friday will be sunny, with a high near 77 and a low of 52.
As the Memorial Day weekend begins, there is a slight chance of showers on Saturday, then a chance of showers and thunderstorms after 1 p.m. It will be partly sunny, with a high near 75. Chance of precipitation is 40%.
On Saturday night, there is a 50% chance of showers and thunderstorms. The low will be about 57.
On Sunday, there will be a 30% chance of showers. The high will be near 75. There is a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms Sunday night, with a low of about 57.
On Memorial Day, there is a 40% chance of showers and thunderstorms, with a high near 76.
Despite the weather delays farmers have faced, for Grand Island, May had been below normal precipitation-wise up to Tuesday. As of Monday, only 1.72 inches of precipitation had fallen, which was 1.01 inches below the 30-year-average.
Actually, there have been 11 out of the 21 days in the month when there has been a trace or more of rainfall. On May 8, 1.06 inches of precipitation fell.
May has also been colder than usual, with the daily average temperature in Grand Island, as of Monday, at 56.9 degrees, 2.4 degrees below the 30-year-average. Of the 21 days of May, 12 days have had temperatures below the 30-year-average.
The USDA also reported that winter wheat condition in Nebraska rated 1% very poor, 4% poor, 26% fair, 57% good, and 12% excellent.
Winter wheat headed was 8%, near the 4% last year, but behind the 27% average.
Sorghum planted was 18%, behind the 29% last year and the 28% average.
Oats planted was 90%, near the 94% last year, but behind the 97% average. Emerged was 67%, behind the 84% last year and well behind the 91% average.
Pasture and range conditions rated 1% very poor, 2% poor, 19% fair, 68% good, and 10% excellent.
Statewide, topsoil moisture supplies rated 5% short, 80% adequate and 15% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 4% short, 81% adequate, and 15% surplus.