How Many Days Are Suitable for Fieldwork?
Each year, USDA NASS collects data on the number of suitable field days, or days in which farmers can perform fieldwork. Figure 2 plots the days suitable for fieldwork in Nebraska during the typical planting season, approximately April 1 to mid-June, weeks 13 through 24 of the year, between 1996-2021. Figure 3 plots the distribution of the days suitable for fieldwork for the period.
Figure 2. Days Suitable for Fieldwork, April to Mid-June (1996-2021)
Figure 3. Distribution of Days Suitable for Fieldwork, April to Mid-June (1996-2021)
There were 49.5 days suitable for fieldwork each year on average. But as Figure 2 illustrates, the days can vary significantly by year ranging from a low of 35.9 in 1999 to a high of 66.6 in 2000—a difference of 31 days from one year to the next. In half the years, the days suitable for fieldwork ranged between 40-50 days. On average, then, Nebraska farmers usually had enough days suitable for fieldwork to plant corn but might have been pressed to complete soybean planting in some years. Of course, soybean planting is often interspersed with corn planting.