After a warming trend we’ve been on a roller coaster of weather the past two weeks, with two separate snow events. April 14 brought snow to parts of our area. Some had about 6 inches of snow while at the farm we had only 1 inch of snow.
Starting this week we had more than an inch of rain predicted; we only received about 0.4 inches of rain. With warmer temperatures and less rain in the forecast it appears planting is likely to start before the end of the month. Now that we’re able to walk more alfalfa fields after green-up, we’re seeing some fields that didn’t handle the winter as well as we would have hoped. It doesn’t appear that’s the case in all fields. So it’s not a repeat of 2014 when we had one-third of alfalfa stands killed off. We found some frost while cleaning fence lines this past weekend. Others are saying they have found more in marshes and along ditches. But for the most part it appears frost is completely out of the fields. I pulled a few soil temperatures. They’ve been in the 40s so soil should be fit to plant once we can dry out and warm a little.
One issue for us farming along the Rock River in Jefferson County is that no one wants the water that’s held back by dams. To our north Horicon Marsh opens their dam. Then downstream dams aren’t opened to allow water to flow freely south. So we have water backed up into our fields and ditches. Using tile draining into those ditches we maneuver the path so the water flows back into them until the river goes down. With snowmelt finished and less rain lately, the river is slowly going down. Hopefully we can go into the fields along it when we start in our other fields. With the current forecast that looks to be soon. Hope everyone has a good planting season!