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Southern Plains Producers Prepare for Winter Wheat Harvest

May 15, 2012
By: Julianne Johnston, Pro Farmer Digital Managing Editor
 
 

Following are details from the state Crop/Weather Report:

Kansas: Last week, many Kansas producers received a break from the unseasonably hot temperatures as more than half of the State recorded below average temperatures for the first time in 2012. Only 21 of 53 stations recorded at or above normal temperatures with weekly highs ranging from the high-70’s to the low-90’s. Average temperatures ranged from the mid-50’s to the mid-60’s, and three stations reported weekly low temperatures of 31 or 32 degrees. The State received sparse precipitation as only three stations received over an inch of rain, and 42 stations received less than half an inch, including 13 stations that received no precipitation at all. Lawrence led the State at 1.53 inches followed by Pittsburg at 1.13 inches and Garnett at 1.03 inches. Because of the mild temperatures and lack of precipitation, producers averaged 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork with the western two-thirds of the state averaging at or above 6.5 days suitable. Topsoil moisture conditions continued to decline and were rated at 8 percent very short, 28 percent short, 62 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus. The West Central, Southwest, and Central Districts all reported over half of their topsoil moisture supplies to be short to very short. Subsoil moisture supplies also declined to 8 percent very short, 28 percent short, 62 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus. Lack of precipitation continues to be a concern among many Kansas producers as the wheat progresses toward maturity and spring planting continues. Field

All Districts have seen at least some of the wheat turning color as the crop continues to progress three weeks ahead of normal. Statewide, 98 percent of the wheat crop has headed, well ahead of 55 percent last year and the 5-year average of 46 percent. With the crop in the South Central and Southeast Districts already at 50 percent turned color yesterday, the State averaged 26 percent turned color. Since precipitation continued to be scarce in many of the principal wheat growing districts, the condition of the wheat crop continued to decline to 5 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 41 percent good, and 11 percent excellent.

Texas: Most areas of Texas received rainfall last week. Portions of South and West Texas received up to six inches of rain while other areas of the state observed scattered showers. Many grain producers were harvesting or getting ready to harvest with several reporting above average yields. In the High Plains, irrigated wheat was in good condition, while dryland wheat remained in need of moisture. In parts of North Texas, small grain harvest was put on hold due to rain.

Oklahoma: An early wheat harvest was progressing mid-week, but rain over the weekend stopped the combines in southwestern Oklahoma. An early canola harvest was also underway. Wheat in the Panhandle is still in need of additional rain to maintain expected yields as drought conditions are still rated as severe to extreme in that area. Goodwell, in the Panhandle, received 0.86 of an inch of rain last week, although the average for the Panhandle was 0.21 of an inch. Most of the precipitation fell across the southern half of the state, and the Southeast, South Central and Southwest districts all averaged more than an inch of rain. Temperatures cooled down from the week prior, averaging in the low to mid sixties.Topsoil and subsoil moisture conditions were rated mostly adequate. There were 5.8 days suitable for field work. Conditions continued to be rated mostly good for all small grains. A small portion of wheat and rye had been harvested by the end of the week. Eighty percent of wheat heading was in soft dough stage of development, 44 points ahead of the five-year average.

Nebraska: For the week ending May 13, 2012, both planting and crop development continued ahead of average, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office. Due to limited rainfall, topsoil moisture levels dropped again below average causing some producers to start pivots. Wheat jointed was 95 percent with half of the crop headed, 18 days ahead of average. High temperatures ranged from the upper 80’s to lows of upper 20’s in the Panhandle. Little or no precipitation fell across the state with the Southeast District receiving the largest amounts but only averaging .2 inch of rain. Wheat jointed was 95 percent, well ahead of last year’s 64 and 67 average. Wheat headed was 52 percent, ahead of 1 last year and 18 days ahead of 4 average. The impact of freezing temperatures on wheat in the northern Panhandle is not yet known. The cool and dry weather slowed the advancement of disease in parts of the South Central and Southeast Districts. Wheat conditions rated 3 percent poor, 29 fair, 57 good, and 11 excellent, above last year’s 47 percent good to excellent and 64 average.

Colorado: Colorado experienced scattered showers, especially in the San Luis Valley, but the State, overall, still received below average precipitation with slightly above average temperatures. The much needed moisture aided in crop and pasture growth, improving conditions for certain crops. Overall, the mountain snowpack is 13 percent of average. Farmers were allowed 6.6 days in the field for spring operations. Winter wheat progress increased to 98 percent jointed and 64 percent headed, compared with the 5-year averages of 82 percent and 14 percent, respectively. Three percent of the crop was reported turning color as of last week. The crop was rated in mostly good to fair condition.


 

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RELATED TOPICS: Weather, Wheat, USDA

 
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