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Harvest Accelerates in Kansas

06:36AM Jun 05, 2012

Following are details from the state Crop/Weather Report:

Kansas: Severe weather hit parts of Kansas last week as high winds and damaging hail up to tennis ball size were reported in some areas. Although all 53 stations recorded precipitation, only ten stations received above normal precipitation for the week. Twenty-four stations received less than one-half inch of rain, and only two stations in the western third of the State reported over one-half inch. Of the thirteen stations that reported over an inch of rain, eleven of those were in the central third of Kansas. El Dorado, Medicine Lodge, and Wilmore led the State with 2.44 inches, 2.27 inches, and 2.06 inches, respectively. Much of the State received a break from unseasonably warm temperatures as only 16 of 53 stations reported above normal weekly average temperatures. Average temperatures ranged from the mid 60’s to mid 70’s with highs ranging from the upper 80’s to upper 90’s. A few areas in Kansas even reported record lows for the week as it dipped down to 40 degrees at four stations. Producers averaged 5.6 days suitable for fieldwork last week, while topsoil moisture conditions improved slightly because of the precipitation and were rated at 25 percent very short, 40 percent short, 34 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. Only the Southeast and South Central Districts reported more than half of their topsoil moistures to be in the adequate to surplus categories. The western districts reported over 70 percent of their topsoil moisture supplies in the short to very short categories. Kansas subsoil moisture supplies were rated at 20 percent very short, 44 percent short, and 36 percent adequate. The persistent windy and dry conditions remained a primary concern among Kansas producers. The rain slowed wheat harvest in many areas and prevented some producers from planting the remainder of their row crops last week. Nearly every District had started wheat harvest by Sunday as 20 percent of the Kansas crop had already been harvested. The Southeast and South Central Districts were leading the State with 50 percent and 44 percent harvested, respectively. In stark contrast to the previous year of 8 percent mature and the 5-year average of 2 percent mature, the wheat crop was 62 percent mature last week. Only 4 percent of the wheat had not turned color by Sunday. With timely rains in a few districts and continued windy and dry conditions in other districts, the Statewide wheat condition was relatively unchanged and was rated as 8 percent very poor, 16 percent poor, 36 percent fair, 32 percent good, and 8 percent excellent.

Texas: Areas from the Panhandle to Coastal Texas received rainfall last week. Parts of North Texas received up to three inches while other areas observed scattered showers. Small Grains: Harvesting of winter wheat and oats continued around the state, aided in many areas by warm, dry weather. In the High Plains, some wheat was being baled or cut for silage. In the Edwards Plateau, producers were preparing to plant hay grazer with some early-planted hay grazer being baled.

Oklahoma: The Drought Monitor as of May 22nd showed a significant increase in the area rated as abnormally dry. Over two thirds of the state is now rated as abnormally dry or worse and almost 14 percent of the state is considered to be in a drought, with moderate to extreme conditions. Warm temperatures combined with wind and lack of rainfall to produce the dry conditions. Very little rain was recorded over the past week; however some rain fell in isolated areas of the Panhandle and Southwest districts, with 1.2 inches recorded in Boise City for the week ending Sunday. Wind gusts as strong as 75 mph were recorded at Woodward on Friday, and sustained winds over 40 mph were recorded through northwestern Oklahoma and the Panhandle. The warm and dry conditions continued to aid an early and rapidly progressing harvest of wheat and canola. Row crop planting also made progress and emergence was ahead of normal. Soil moisture conditions declined over the last week: 60 percent of topsoil and 62 percent of subsoil was rated short to very short. None was rated surplus. There were 6.6 days suitable for field work, due to the lack of rainfall. Small Grains: Harvest of all small grains and canola continued significantly ahead of normal, facilitated by warm and dry conditions. The wheat harvest was 41 percent complete by Sunday, 31 points ahead of the previous year.

Nebraska: For the week ending June 3, 2012, showers brought moisture and improved growing conditions to portions of the east while the dry west saw conditions continue to decline, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office. However, below normal temperatures and less wind reduced stress on crops. Hail damaged crops and property in areas of the state and producers will have to decide if replanting will take place. Sidedressing fertilizer and spraying herbicides were the main field activities. Half of the wheat crop was turning color and harvest will be early this year. Alfalfa and pastures are showing little growth due to the dry conditions. Weather Summary: Temperatures averaged slightly below normal in the western third of the state and 4 to 7 degrees below normal in the eastern two-thirds. High temperatures reached the mid 90's with lows in the mid 30's. Little to no precipitation fell across the western half of the state. Bands of showers moved across the eastern half with largest rainfall totals accumulating in the Northeast and East Central Districts. Wheat turning color was 53 percent, 20 days ahead of 1 average. Wheat conditions rated 3 percent very poor, 13 poor, 40 fair, 41 good, and 3 excellent, below 55 percent good to excellent last year and 65 average.

Colorado: Once again, Colorado experienced below average precipitation with above average temperatures last week. Some areas on the Eastern Plains experienced severe weather with high winds and hail on several days last week. However, damage from storms was not widespread. Crops in the San Luis Valley were affected by freezing temperatures last week burning back emerged potatoes and diminishing yield potential for hay. Overall, the mountain snowpack is 5 percent of average. Farmers were allowed 6.7 days in the field for spring operations.Winter wheat progressed to 53 percent turning color, 49 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. One percent of the crop was reported ripe as of the end of last week. The crop was rated in mostly fair to good condition.