Following are details from the state Crop/Weather Report:
Kansas: Kansas producers saw the fifth consecutive week of above normal temperatures along with severe thunderstorms and tornadoes. High temperatures ranged from the low 70’s to low 80’s, and low temperatures ranged from the low 30’s to mid 40’s. All stations reported at or above normal average temperatures with Hutchinson and Colby the warmest at 9 degrees above normal. Colby was also the only station that did not receive rain last week. Eighteen of the 53 stations reported over an inch of rain, with Beloit, Columbus, and Clay Center receiving the largest amounts with 3.97 inches, 2.73 inches, and 2.56 inches, respectively. Last week, producers averaged 4.1 days suitable for fieldwork as all districts reported between 3.7 and 4.5 days suitable. Because of the precipitation, topsoil moisture conditions improved to 2 percent very short, 8 percent short, 78 percent adequate, and 12 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies also slightly improved to 4 percent very short, 17 percent short, 74 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus. Some producers contended with storm damage while others were preparing for spring planting and spraying for insects and disease. The Kansas wheat crop continues to progress two to three weeks ahead of the average. Ninety-one percent of the acreage has jointed, ahead of 45 percent last year and the 5-year average of 47 percent. Only the western third of the state is less than 85 percent jointed. Nineteen percent of the crop has headed, ahead of 1 percent last year and none for the 5 year average. The South Central district at 51 percent headed and the Southeast District at 61 percent headed are progressing more rapidly than the rest of the State. Despite the storms, the condition of the wheat crop improved slightly to 2 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 24 percent fair, 53 percent good, and 16 percent excellent. Insect damage to the wheat continues to increase to 17 percent light and 4 percent moderate, while disease damage also increased to 20 percent light, 8 percent moderate, and 1 percent severe.
Texas: Most areas of Texas received rainfall last week. Areas of East and Coastal Texas received up to 2 inches of rainfall for the week while other areas observed scattered showers. Small Grains: Irrigation was active on wheat in areas of the High Plains which received little rainfall. Dryland wheat continued to suffer due to dry, windy conditions. In many other areas, wheat benefited from timely showers. Producers across the state continued to cut wheat and oats for hay. Other wheat and oat fields were being used for grazing. Many producers were monitoring or spraying for armyworms and aphids.
Oklahoma: The week began with severe storms moving across the Panhandle and northwestern Oklahoma on Monday, April 9th. Severe storms returned Wednesday as a powerful system approached Oklahoma, with increasing intensity through the weekend. High winds, hail and tornados were reported as this system moved across the state. The strongest tornado hit the town of Woodward in Woodward county, scattering damage throughout of the city, deaths were reported. Several other tornados were reported with damage ranging from trees being uprooted to homes and barns being destroyed. Hail, up to softball sized, was reported with some of these storms. On Sunday, April 15th, Governor Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency for 12 counties as severe damage resulted from the straight line winds, flooding and tornados. Crop and structural damage assessments will continue for the next several days. The average rainfall for the state was 1.42 inches; with the highest amount, 5.06 inches, recorded at Miami's Mesonet station. Subsoil moisture condition ratings continued to show improvement with the recent rains, as 5 percent was rated surplus and 55 percent adequate. Topsoil moisture conditions also improved as 12 percent was rated surplus and 71 percent adequate, compared to only 11 percent a year ago. There were 4.2 days suitable for field work, as storms hindered field accessibility. High winds, rain and hail from the storms damaged some wheat and canola fields. The crop conditions showed a slight decrease due to the damage. Wheat jointing reached 95 percent complete by Sunday, five points ahead of the five-year average. Seventy two percent of wheat was heading by the end of the week, 31 points ahead of last week and 55 points ahead of the five-year average. Nine percent of canola was mature by Sunday.
Nebraska: For the week ending April 15, 2012, strong storms late in the week delayed field activities but increased soil moisture levels, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office. High winds, tornados and hail damaged property in parts of the state. However, the general rain was welcome and should aid germination of spring planted crops. Corn planting made little progress during the 4.6 days suitable for fieldwork. Wheat jointed at 38 percent was two and half weeks ahead of average creating concern for potential freeze damage. Soil temperatures cooled and ranged from the low 50’s in the west to mid 50’s in the east. Cattle and calves were in mostly good to excellent condition. Spring calving was 88 percent complete with calf losses below average. Wheat jointed was 38 percent, well ahead of 5 percent last year and 6 average. Wheat conditions rated 0 percent very poor, 5 poor, 32 fair, 54 good, and 9 excellent, well above last year’s 41 percent good to excellent and 56 average.
Colorado: Last week, above average precipitation arrived along the Front Range and Eastern Plains of Colorado while the rest of the State had below average precipitation levels. Temperatures were above average for the majority of last week with some cooler temperatures at the end, slowing the accelerated progress of small grain crops. Windy and dry conditions prevailed in parts of the Eastern Plains and in the San Luis Valley. Overall, mountain snowpack is 40 percent of average raising concerns about the availability of irrigation water this growing season. Farmers were allowed 5.6 days in the field for spring operations. Winter wheat progress increased to 33 percent jointed compared with the 5-year average of 18 percent. The winter wheat reported being pastured remained at 1 percent last week. The crop was rated in mostly fair to good condition. Spring barley was 50 percent seeded with 32 percent emerged by the end of the week compared with the 5-year average of 35 percent and 11 percent, respectively.