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Southern Plains Winter Wheat Needs More Rain

06:11AM May 08, 2012

Following are details from the state Crop/Weather Report:

Kansas: Last week many Kansas producers saw more hot and dry weather as many stations again set new daily high temperature records. Russell Springs had the State’s highest and lowest weekly temperature with 99 degrees and 41 degrees. With average temperatures ranging from the mid-60’s to mid-70’s, the average weekly temperatures were 8 to 16 degrees above normal. The Southeast District saw ample amounts of precipitation with Parsons, Pittsburg, and Columbus receiving 7.80 inches, 6.20 inches, and 5.48 inches, respectively. There were reports from the Southeast District of localized flooding in low lying areas. However, only nine other stations received more than an inch of rain, while 17 stations received less than one half inch, and 9 stations received no rain at all. Producers across the State averaged 5 days suitable for fieldwork with the Southeast District only averaging 2 days suitable. Topsoil moisture conditions continued to decrease and were rated at 6 percent very short, 20 percent short, 67 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies decreased to 6 percent very short, 25 percent short, 66 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus. As some producers become concerned with the hot and dry weather, they continued to spray wheat for disease, apply fertilizer, and plant corn, soybeans, sorghum, and cotton. With only two districts reporting less than 90 percent headed, the Kansas wheat crop continues to progress three weeks ahead of the average. Statewide, 92 percent of the wheat crop has headed, well ahead of 29 percent last year and the 5-year average of 20 percent. Four percent of the crop has already turned color, mostly in the South Central and Southeast Districts. Because of the heat and lack of moisture, the condition of the wheat crop continued to slightly decline and was rated at 3 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 47 percent good, and 13 percent excellent. Insect damage increased slightly to 20 percent light, 5 percent moderate, and 1 percent severe. Disease damage also continued to increase to 28 percent light, 15 percent moderate, and 5 percent severe.

Texas: Portions of Central Texas received up to 2 inches of rainfall last week while other areas of the state observed isolated showers. Some hail damage was reported in areas of the Low Plains. Warm weather continued to mature wheat and oats ahead of schedule. Some producers began harvesting winter wheat for grain and many others were preparing to harvest within the next few weeks. In the Northern Plains, dryland wheat conditions were in decline due to a lack of moisture while irrigated wheat fields were generally in good condition.

Oklahoma: There were a few reports of wheat and canola being harvested over the weekend in southwestern Oklahoma. The extent of the damage to wheat from hail and high winds the past few weeks will be seen as the crop is harvested over the next month. Storms Monday continued from the past Sunday dumping an additional 3.67 inches at Blackwell in Kay County, giving them over 10 inches in two days. A few other storms throughout the week resulted in a statewide average precipitation of 0.74 inches. Although the rainfall the last two months has been close to or above normal, areas of western Oklahoma and the Panhandle have still not recovered adequate soil moisture to overcome the drought. Friday night a severe storm in Tillman and Cotton counties was reported with hail up to baseball size, damaging vehicles, properties, and wheat almost ready for harvest. The Mesonet station at Grandfield recorded a wind gust of 89 mph during that storm. Temperatures were above normal for April, and a high of 106 was recorded at Altus on Sunday. The warm temperatures and windy conditions continued to dry out soil. Topsoil and subsoil moisture conditions were rated mostly adequate, although the amount rated short to very short increased from the previous week. There were 5.7 days suitable for field work.Conditions continued to be rated mostly good for all small grains, and all stages were ahead of normal with a few reports of wheat harvested over the weekend in far southwestern Oklahoma. Wheat heading was virtually complete by the end of the week, and 60 percent of the crop had reached the soft dough stage of development, 41 points ahead of the five-year average

Nebraska: For the week ending May 6, 2012, producers made significant planting progress with favorable conditions, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office. Above normal temperatures and limited precipitation allowed active field work and aided crop development. Wheat jointed was 87 percent with one quarter of the crop headed, 19 days ahead of average. The first cutting of alfalfa continued 3 weeks ahead of average. Temperatures averaged 9 degrees above normal across the state. High temperatures ranged from the mid 90's in the southern half of Nebraska to lows of mid 30's in the Panhandle. The East Central and Southeast Districts averaged over 1 inch of precipitation with other districts near half an inch or less. Wheat jointed was 87 percent, well ahead of last year's 40 and near three weeks ahead of 45 average. Wheat headed was 25 percent. Disease was a concern in parts of South Central and Southeast Districts. Wheat conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 5 poor, 28 fair, 55 good, and 11 excellent, above last year's 46 percent good to excellent and 63 average.

Colorado: Last week Colorado experienced scattered showers on the Eastern Plains but the State, overall, still received below average precipitation with above average temperatures. Early and continued warm temperatures have pushed wheat and grass growth ahead of normal. The San Luis Valley reported that due to extreme dry conditions there is the potential for prevented planting claims. Overall, the mountain snowpack is 20 percent of average raising concerns about the availability of irrigation water this growing season. Farmers were allowed 6.6 days in the field for spring operations. Winter wheat progress increased to 87 percent jointed and 25 percent headed, compared with the 5-year averages of 68 percent and 7 percent, respectively. The crop was rated in mostly good to fair condition despite some reports of Stripe Rust showing on vulnerable varieties and the presence of Russian Wheat Aphids.