Following are details from the state Crop/Weather Report:
Kansas: Last week, Kansas producers saw widespread precipitation and above normal temperatures, although temperatures were cooler than they have been the last several weeks. All stations received rain with three stations receiving over two inches: Clay Center at 2.17 inches, Concordia at 2.25 inches, and Garnett at 2.30 inches. Only 10 of the 53 stations received less than half an inch, mostly in the Southeast District. Record temperatures were reported early in the week with highs ranging from the low 80’s to the low 90’s before temperatures cooled later in the week. All stations reported at or above normal average temperatures with Emporia at 13 degrees above normal, while thirteen stations reported low temperatures at or below freezing, mostly in the northern districts. Last week, producers averaged 3.5 days suitable for fieldwork with all districts reporting 5 days or less suitable. Topsoil moisture conditions improved to 4 percent very short, 8 percent short, 80 percent adequate, and 8 percent surplus, with the Southwest district reporting 60 percent adequate to surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies also greatly improved to 5 percent very short, 17 percent short, 75 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus. Producers were busy trying to control insects in alfalfa fields, preparing for spring planting, and applying herbicide and insecticide to wheat.
The wheat crop continues to develop two to three weeks ahead of normal with 6 percent of the wheat crop already headed. Wheat is now 79 percent jointed, ahead of last year at 30 percent and the 5-year average of 32 percent. The Central, South Central, and Southeast Districts all reported over 90 percent jointed as of Sunday. With the rain, the condition of the wheat crop continued to improve and was reported as 1 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 52 percent good, and 13 percent excellent. Insect damage to the wheat increased to 13 percent light, 4 percent moderate, and 1 percent severe, while disease damage increased slightly to 12 percent light and 3 percent moderate.
Texas: Areas of North and East Texas received up to 2.5 inches of rainfall for the week while other areas observed scattered showers. Weather conditions remained dry in much of the High Plains and the Trans-Pecos. In areas of the High Plains, dryland wheat remained stressed due to inadequate rainfall and soil moisture. Irrigated fields were being watered. In most other areas, rainfall helped to improve wheat and oat fields. Many producers were grazing livestock on wheat, and small grains continued to be cut for hay. Some producers were spraying or scouting for armyworms.
Oklahoma: Favorable growing conditions this spring have resulted in crop progress that is significantly ahead of normal. Over 40 percent of the wheat crop and almost three-fourths of the rye crop were heading by the end of the week. Virtually the entire canola crop was blooming and corn planting was ahead of normal with a small portion already emerged by Sunday. Additional moisture fell last week and every Mesonet station recorded rainfall. The average rainfall for the state was 0.93 inches. Isolated areas received upwards of two inches, including Hooker in the Panhandle. Two and three inches of rain fell in South Central Oklahoma over the week, resulting in flash flooding at Turner Falls on Sunday. Minor damage from a thunderstorm in southeast Oklahoma on Tuesday was reported and a 51 mph wind gust was recorded by Mesonet at Wilburton during that storm. The additional rainfall continued to lessen the effects of the lingering drought. The April 3rd Drought Monitor showed continued improvements with D4 conditions all but gone. The panhandle and far western Oklahoma make up the 18.57 percent of the state still rated moderate to extreme in drought intensity. Subsoil moisture condition ratings showed very little change, with 54 percent rated adequate and 74 percent of topsoil moisture conditions were rated adequate. There were 4.5 days suitable for field work, due to multiple storms and showers during the week.
Heading of wheat and rye progressed well ahead of normal, due to the favorable spring conditions. Wheat and canola conditions continued to improve; 27 percent of wheat and 23 percent of canola were rated excellent. All small grains were rated mostly good. Wheat jointing reached 92 percent complete by Sunday, 12 points ahead of the five-year average. Forty-one percent of wheat was heading by the end of the week, 35 points ahead of last year and the five-year average.
Nebraska: For the week ending April 8, 2012, even though conditions were favorable for planting corn, only a limited number of fields were planted with most producers waiting for the crop insurance initial planting date, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office. Soil moisture levels continued below previous year and 5 year averages with precipitation limited to the southern tier of counties. Planting of oats reached the half way point with 15 percent of the crop emerged. Wheat was beginning to joint well ahead of average. With 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork, producers were applying fertilizer, performing spring tillage, and getting machinery ready for spring planting. Soil temperatures ranged from the mid 50’s in the west to low 60’s in the east. Temperatures averaged 3 degrees above normal across the western half of the state, while the eastern half was up to 10 degrees above normal. Highs reached the low 90’s in the east and lows fell to the lower 20’s in the Panhandle. Precipitation was limited to extreme southern counties with some locations receiving over one inch.
Wheat jointed was 10 percent, well ahead of 1 percent average. Wheat conditions rated 0 percent very poor, 5 poor, 35 fair, 52 good, and 8 excellent, well above last year’s 35 percent good to excellent.
Colorado: Last week, parts of the Front Range and Eastern Plains of Colorado experienced above average precipitation while the rest of the State had below average precipitation levels. Temperatures were above average for this time of year, but reports of freezing temperatures at night in the Western regions affected some of the cherry and peach producing areas. Windy and dry conditions prevailed on the Eastern Plains and in the San Luis Valley. Overall, mountain snowpack is 49 percent of average leaving irrigators concerned with a possible reduction in water deliveries this growing season. Farmers were allowed 5.9 days in the field for spring operations. The continued warm temperatures last week pushed winter wheat progress to 18 percent jointed compared with 10 percent on average. The winter wheat reported being pastured dropped to 1 percent last week. The crop was rated in mostly fair to good condition.
Juli says: The condition of the crop improved slightly again this week as it benefits from needed moisture. But given the advanced state of this year's crop at this time of year and the still low soil moisture profile across much of the Southern Plains, timely rains will be needed to sustain current conditions.