Southern Plains Wheat Conditions Decline in January

January 31, 2012 02:06 AM

According to state crop reports, the hard red winter wheat crops in Kansas and Oklahoma declined in January, with little chance noted in the Texas ratings. State statitisticans note more moisture is needed this winter to help improve conditions when the crop comes out of dormancy.


Crop condition
Very Poor
Kansas -
Okla. - 01/30/12
Texas - 01/30/12


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

Kansas: Unusually warm, dry and windy January weather in Kansas has decreased soil moisture and winter wheat condition, however, the warm weather has aided livestock producers in a smooth start to the calving season and in stretching the hay and forage supply. Producers saw very little precipitation during the month as only 3 stations received over 0.20 inch; Concordia with 0.33 inch, Leavenworth with 0.26 inch, and Holton with 0.24 inch. Kansas farmers averaged 16.6 days suitable fieldwork for the month compared to 13 days a year ago. High temperatures ranged from 64 degrees to 74 degrees, while lows ranged from -1 degree in Oberlin to 18 degrees in Liberal. Average temperatures ranged from 31 to 40 degrees. January temperatures ranged from 4 degrees above normal at Clay Center to 11 degrees above normal at Topeka. Topsoil moisture supplies declined during the month to 13 percent very short, 33 percent short, 53 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. A year ago, topsoil moisture supplies were 24 percent very short, 35 percent short, 40 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. The lack of moisture during January decreased the wheat condition from December to 3 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 39 percent fair, 42 percent good, and 7 percent excellent. A year ago, the condition of the crop was 14 percent very poor, 23 percent poor, 36 percent fair, 25 percent good, and 2 percent excellent. Wind damage increased slightly to 8 percent light and 2 percent moderate, while freeze damage was rated as 4 percent light and 96 percent with no damage.

Oklahoma: Scattered rains were seen across Oklahoma during January. A daily maximum rainfall record was set in McAlester, at 1.9 inches on January 10, breaking the old record of 0.62 inches set in 1954. A second daily record was set in Oklahoma City, at 1.52 inches on January 24, breaking the old record of 0.37 inches set in 1949. January rainfall ranged from 0.12 inches in the Panhandle to 5.32 inches in the Southeast. While the drought conditions continued around the state. The Drought Monitor, dated January 24th indicated that 68 percent of the state was in a drought, as the Panhandle and much of the southwestern parts of the state continued to experience severe to exceptional drought conditions. Temperatures continued to be unseasonably warm for this time of year. The high temperatures ranged from 72 degrees in McAlester on January 20th to 79 degrees recorded in Mangum on January 16th. This unseasonable warm January along with the scattered rains have small grain crops off to a good start. Scattered rains have supplied much needed moisture for small grain grazing, which helped slow the feeding of hay. While the scattered rains have helped small grains, farm ponds and lakes have seen little relief from the drought. Some ranchers continued to haul water to livestock. Topsoil moisture conditions improved slightly with 53 percent rated adequate or surplus and 47 percent rated short to very short. Subsoil moisture conditions were rated mostly short to very short, though 27 percent of the state was rated as adequate. Conditions have slipped slightly but small grain crops continued to be rated mostly good, while the canola condition rating remained mostly good to fair. Wheat grazed was at 39 percent, three points above the five year average.

Texas: Many areas of the state received rainfall over the past week, as precipitation levels ranged mostly from 1 to 2 inches. Isolated showers even brought as much as 5 to 10 inches in areas of Central and Eastern Texas. In many areas of the Panhandle, continued high winds and warmer temperatures reduced soil moisture. There were some reports of winds in excess of 55 mph. Some hail was reported in the Edwards Plateau. Winter wheat was in need of additional moisture in the High Plains. In the Northern High Plains, early planted wheat failed due to continued, unfavorable growing conditions. In the Southern High Plains, there were some reports of damage from flocks of geese feeding in fields as well as blowing sands. Although some producers in the Northern Low Plains incorporated nitrogen in their top dressings, most were waiting until moisture conditions improved to commence those activities. In the Cross Timbers, winter wheat continued to improve and supplied grazing relief for livestock. In the Blacklands, wheat was in good condition as increased moisture along with unseasonably warm temperatures were beneficial. Wheat in the Edwards Plateau improved from recent rains.


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