The slow and cold spring planting season continues, particularly for those in the northern Plains. Recently, final dates for crop insurance coverage have been bumped to accommodate the unusually cold and wet weather. Between April storms that brought heavy snow and rain events leading to inadequate field conditions and just-plain-cold temperatures, most of North Dakota and Minnesota have yet to start on row-crop planting.

North Dakota soil temperatures the last week of April averaged mid-to-high 30s to low 40s, making even those fields that are dry enough to plant too cold. Spring wheat planting is pegged at just 5% complete, 13% less than the five-year average and 34% less than last year. Specialty crops planting, such as oats, canola, and barley, are also lagging. Looking at the forecast, farmers can likely get into the field this week, even if soil conditions are a bit colder than preferred.

Read more on northern Plains planting pains here.