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Kansas, Oklahoma & Texas Wheat Conditions Improve

March 12, 2012
By: Meghan Pedersen, Pro Farmer Associate Editor
 
 

State statisticians report improved in Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas this week, thanks in large part to rains that helped ease the recovery of last year's drought. However, crop reporters note that heavy winds are blowing top soil and causing some damage.

 

State Very Poor Poor Fair Good Excellent
Percent
Kansas -
03/11/12
3
8
36
45
8
03/04/12
3
9
38
43
7
 
Okla. - 03/11/12
1
7
26
54
12
03/04/12
1
8
29
51
11
 
Texas - 03/11/12
9
24
24
25
18
03/04/12
10
23
28
23
16

 

Here are some of the key observations in the state monthly summaries:

Kansas: Kansas producers experienced another week of warm and windy conditions with only scattered precipitation. Temperatures last week were 3 to 12 degrees above normal as highs ranged from the upper 60s to 83 degrees at Garden City. Lows continued to be at freezing or below with most stations in the teens and 20s. The heaviest precipitation occurred in the Southeast District, led by Howard with 1.63 inches, Winfield with 1.46 inches, and Iola with 1.45 inches. In contrast, 45 of the 52 stations received less than one half inch. Kansas farmers averaged 5.1 days suitable fieldwork last week with the Northwest and North Central Districts averaging more than six days, while the Southeast District only had 3.3. Topsoil moisture supplies were rated as 12% very short, 23% short, 61% adequate, and 4% surplus.

The state’s wheat crop continued to come out of winter dormancy last week with the warm temperatures and has started jointing in the southern districts. Statewide, 4% of wheat has jointed, compared to last year at 1% and the five-year average of 2%. The condition of the wheat crop improved slightly to 3% very poor, 8% poor, 36% fair, 45% good, and 8% excellent. Last year at this time the wheat condition was considerably worse at 16% very poor, 24 percent, poor, 34% fair, 24% good and 2% excellent. Four percent of the wheat has experienced light damage due to winterkill, down significantly from last year. Wind damage increased only slightly from the previous week to 9% light, 5% moderate, and 2% severe. Freeze damage remained unchanged for another week at only 4% light damage. Insect and disease infestations are both very limited at this time with only 6% of the acreage having light damage from either, comparable to last year.

Oklahoma: The week began with warm and windy weather, but rainfall the second half of the week cooled down temperatures. Every Mesonet station had measurable rainfall for the past week, and precipitation averaged 1.34 inches for the state. The Panhandle district averaged 0.34 of an inch, while Kenton received only a tenth. The highest totals were in the South Central and Southeast districts, with Mt. Herman recording 4.08 inches for the week. While rain in every district aided in the recovery from the past year’s drought, the Panhandle was still experiencing blowing topsoil and damage from heavy winds over the past few weeks. High temperatures averaged in the 60s for the week, with a significant change from the first half of the week to the second half. Oklahoma City tied the record warm minimum temperature for March 8th, at 61 degrees on Wednesday morning, then temperatures dropped for the remainder of the week. The percentage of wheat and rye rated good to excellent improved marginally, and more improvement is expected from the rainfall. The moisture not only benefitted small grains already in the ground, but also improved the seedbeds being prepared for spring planting. Topsoil moisture conditions improved significantly over the past week and were rated mostly adequate. The percent rated adequate to surplus increased 21 points to 66 percent. Subsoil moisture improved less dramatically, but 40 percent was rated adequate, up from 30 percent the previous week. There were only 4.7 days suitable for field work, due to multiple days of rain.

Texas: Much of the state received precipitation last week, with several areas reporting two or more inches for the week. High winds in the High Plains and the Trans-Pecos caused blowing dust and depleted soil moisture. In areas of the Panhandle, dryland wheat crops were stressed due to lack of moisture. High winds prevented some chemical applications. Irrigated crops were progressing well. In other areas, wheat responded favorably to recent precipitation.

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RELATED TOPICS: Wheat

 
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