Farm Briefs

Warm, dry weather patterns persist
The warm and dry weather continued throughout the state last week.
Statewide, temperatures averaged 57.7 degrees, 10.9 degrees above normal.
Total precipitation averaged 0.29 inches, 0.64 inches below normal.
As a result of the weather patterns, soil temperatures are warm enough for planting, and the majority of farmers have completed their pre-planting fieldwork. Most are waiting on the “go date” for their area to arrive, but many have at least some corn in the ground.
Corn planting progress reached 5 percent statewide last week. Last year at this time, corn planting was not yet under way.
Oats planted reached 70 percent.
Topsoil moisture was rated at 2 percent very short, 29 percent short, 64 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated at 5 percent very short, 34 percent short, 58 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus.
Winter wheat conditions are now rated at 1 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 18 percent fair, 58 percent good and 20 percent excellent.

General signup for CRP ends Friday
The deadline for producers to sign up for the Conservation Reserve Program is this Friday.
During the signup period,  which began on March 12, landowners may offer eligible land for CRP’s competitive general signup at their county Farm Service Agency office.
Land currently not enrolled in CRP may be offered in this signup, provided all eligibility requirements are met. Additionally, current CRP participants with contracts expiring on Sept. 30 may make new contract offers. Contracts awarded under this signup are scheduled to become effective Oct. 1.
FSA, which administers the CRP, will evaluate and rank eligible CRP offers using an Environmental Benefits Index (EBI) that shows the environmental benefits to be gained from enrolling the land in CRP. The EBI consists of five environmental factors (wildlife, water, soil, air and enduring benefits) and cost. Decisions on the EBI cutoff will be made after the signup ends, and after analyzing the EBI data of all the offers.
 In addition to the general sign-up, CRP’s continuous sign-up program will be ongoing. Continuous acres represent the most environmentally desirable and sensitive land. For more information, visit http://www.fsa.usda.gov/crp.

GROWMARK named No. 6 in U.S. for LP
The GROWMARK System was recently named the No. 6 LP gas retailer in the country by LP Gas Magazine.
GROWMARK retailed more than 200 million gallons of LP gas to customers in 13 states in fiscal year 2011.
"We are honored to once again be named one of the top LP gas retailers in the country," said Scott Long, GROWMARK's manager of propane marketing and business development. "Our commitment to service and safety, as well as our long-term relationships with suppliers, sets us apart."

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