Alabama: Crop Season Begins
Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending April 1, 2012
General: The week’s average mean temperatures ranged from 64.7 F in Crossville, to 72.8 F in Mobile; total precipitation ranged from 0.01 inches in Bankhead, to 1.60 inches in Geneva. Jeffrey Smith, FSA CED for Coosa, Elmore, and Tallapoosa Counties, said 0.80 inches of rain was received at the service center last week. James D. Jones Jr., ACES CEC, said rain is needed for the dry soils in Henry County. Henry Dorough, ACES REA, said most farm activities this past week involved fertilizing and spraying forage crops in Blount, Calhoun, Jefferson, Marshall, and St. Clair counties.
Jack Tatum, ACES REA for Clay, Cleburn, Coosa, Lee, Randolph, Shelby, Talladega, and Tallapoosa, said it has been an ideal spring for producers. Dawn Hoagland, FSA CED for Blount, Jefferson, and Walker Counties, said strawberry u-pick operations are opening and in full swing. Alfred K. Jackson, Tuskegee Cooperative Extension Program County Agent, said it was an unusually warm winter with several small vegetable gardens already prepared for planting.
Cotton/Peanut/Soybeans: Tim Malone, FSA CED in Marion and Winston Counties, said corn planting began approximately two weeks earlier than normal thanks to the unseasonably warm weather. Jones Jr. said corn planting is proceeding quickly, and Henry County may have its first cotton planted this coming week.
Small Grains: Malone said the winter wheat crop is in good condition and is heading out two weeks ahead of schedule. Smith said the winter wheat crop is looking very good in Coosa, Elmore, and Tallapoosa Counties.
Pasture/Hay/Livestock: Malone said fescue grass in pastures is off to a good start, and livestock producers are no longer feeding hay. Jackson said pastures show signs that grass should be plentiful this spring. Jackson said cattle prices are holding steady, and producers are taking advantage of the prices by culling undesirable cattle and upgrading their existing herds. Brenda Glover, ACES REA for Green, Hale, Marengo, Perry, and Sumter Counties, said pastures look good with some haylage already being put up.