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Kentucky Wheat, Alfalfa Spared Major Freeze Damage
Kentucky Ag Connection - 04/17/2018

Kentucky experienced above normal temperatures and precipitation over the past week. Precipitation for the week totaled 1.40 inches, 0.38 inches above normal. Temperatures averaged 56 degrees for the week, 1 degree above normal. Topsoil moisture was rated 50 percent adequate and 50 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 55 percent adequate and 45 percent surplus. Days suitable for fieldwork averaged 3.6 out of a possible seven.

Primary activities for this week included seeding of tobacco transplants, corn planting, and fertilizer application when weather permitted. There were a few days conducive to field work, however cold temperatures and rain returned for the weekend. Corn planting continues to lag behind 2016 and 2017 at this juncture of the season. Seventy-two percent of tobacco transplants were under 4 inches, with 24 percent 2-4 inches, and 4 percent above 4 inches.

The majority of winter wheat and alfalfa were not subjected to freeze damage. Winter wheat freeze damage was reported as 2 percent moderate, 20 percent light, and 78 percent experiencing none. The average height of winter wheat was 13 inches. Alfalfa freeze damage was reported as 1 percent severe, 12 percent moderate, 33 percent light, and 54 percent experiencing none. The average height of alfalfa was 7 inches. The return of rain and cold temperatures is taking a toll on pastures and some producers reported a shortage of hay.

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