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The state of crops for the market [moved from New England board]


Not About Food 13

The state of crops for the market [moved from New England board]

Karl S | Jul 18, 2006 07:42 PM

With the soggy then humid weather New England has been enduring for the past 2 months, I've been wondering how farmers' crops have been faring and what we are likely to see as we come into the season of New England's bounty in August and September.

The USDA is not freely posting the long weekly state (six-state in the case of New England) summaries on it site, but it offers a shorter digest thereof, and the report issued for last week seems to be more hopeful than I would have imagined. Just in case anyone is interested:

"NEW ENGLAND: Days suitable for field work: 6.4. Topsoil moisture:
4% short, 75% adequate, 21% surplus. Subsoil moisture: 76% adequate,
24% surplus. Pasture condition: 2% poor, 20% fair, 53% good, 25%
excellent. Maine Potatoes: condition excellent/good. Rhode Island
Potatoes: condition good/excellent. Massachusetts Potatoes: condition
good. Maine Oats: condition good/excellent. Maine Barley: condition
good/excellent. Field Corn: 100% planted, 100% 2005, 99% average;
95% emerged, 95% 2005, 99% average; condition good/fair. Sweet
Corn: 99% planted, 95% 2005, 99% average; 95% emerged, 95% 2005,
99% average; condition good/fair. Shade Tobacco: 5% harvested, 10%
2005, 5% average; condition fair/good in Connecticut and good in
Massachusetts. Broadleaf Tobacco: condition good/fair. First Crop Hay:
80% harvested, 85% 2005, 90% average; condition good/excellent in
Rhode Island, fair/poor in Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Vermont,
and good/fair elsewhere. Second Crop Hay: 10% harvested, 20% 2005,
25% average; condition good/excellent. Apples: Fruit size average;
condition good. Peaches: <5% harvested, 0% 2005, 0% average; Fruit
size average; condition fair/good in Connecticut and good elsewhere.
Pears: Fruit size average; condition fair/poor in Connecticut and good
elsewhere. Strawberries: 95% harvested, 95% 2005, 95% average; Fruit
size average; condition poor/good in Connecticut, good/excellent in New
Hampshire and Maine, and good/fair elsewhere. Massachusetts
Cranberries: Petal Fall, condition good/fair. Highbush Blueberries: 20%
harvested, 10 2005, 10% average; Fruit size above average in Maine,
average/above average in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and average
elsewhere; condition good/excellent. Maine Wild Blueberries: Fruit size
below average/average; condition excellent. Warm, sunny conditions
rolled over from the weekend into Monday providing farmers another day
to work the fields. By Tuesday, rain arrived into the region and remained
until Thursday, thus limiting field work activities. By week’s end, sunshine
and humid conditions lingered over the region. Farmers took advantage
of the hot, humid weekend to plant and harvest crops. Major farm
activities included: planting and re-planting sweet corn, field corn, and
vegetables, chopping haylage and baling hay, spreading manure,
harvesting beets, broccoli, cabbage, cucumbers, greens, lettuce, peas,
radishes, summer squash, and strawberries, spraying protective
fungicides, side dressing and fertilizing fields, cultivating, mowing weeds,
working in greenhouses, and scouting for pests."

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