While USDA delayed its full release of crop progress and condition data, state updates from USDA's National Ag Statistics Service (NASS) provide details for HRW wheat country:
For the week ending April 6, 2014, precipitation was limited except for a portion of eastern Kansas that received an inch or more of moisture, according to USDA’s NASS. Temperatures were near normal in the south, but 2 to 5 degrees cooler than normal in the north. Southwest Kansas continued to suffer through drought conditions, including days of high winds. Some farm operators were planting cover crops and others were preparing fields for row crop planting. Most farmers we re waiting for soil temperatures to warm up and hoping for rain to boost the wheat crop. There we re 5.6 days suitable for fieldwork.
Topsoil moisture supplies rated 24% very short, 44% short, 31% adequate and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 25% very short, 43% short, 32% adequate and 0% surplus.
Winter wheat condition rated 8% very poor, 19% poor, 44% fair, 27% good and 2% excellent. Winter wheat jointed was 14%, compared to 21% last year and 32% average. This represents a 2-point uptick in the amount of wheat rated in the bottom two categories from the week prior.
Mild temperatures reported throughout most of the state early in the week. Towards the end of the week, precipitation and foggy weather were observed. Many areas of the Edwards Plateau, South Texas and South East Texas received a half an inch to an inch of precipitation. Parts of the Blacklands and North East Texas received a half of an inch to two inches of precipitation. The remainder of the state observed a trace to a quarter of an inch of precipitation.
Producers in the Northern Low Plains continued to irrigate wheat fields. Windy conditions in the Southern High Plains continued to stress winter wheat. Wheat conditions improved in the Blacklands due to warmer weather. Wheat and oats in the Edwards Plateau continued to show signs of stress due to the lack of moisture.
The amount of wheat rated poor to very poor now stands at 61%, up 2 percentage points from the week prior. Thirteen percent of the crop is now rated good to excellent, which is a 2 percentage point improvement from the week prior.
NASS reports that 7% of the crop is headed versus 7% at this point last year and 9% for the five-year average.
Drought conditions persisted in the Panhandle last week. Winter wheat progress continued to be negatively impacted by the prolonged drought and exceedingly windy conditions. Substantial rain is needed across the entire state, especially in the Panhandle for winter wheat development. Since March 1 of this year, the Panhandle has only received 0.36 inches of rainfall, which is about 18% of their normal precipitation. Fire danger and dust storms in western Oklahoma continue d to be an issue last week. Wind gusts were recorded as high as 45 mph in some areas.
Minimal precipitation fell in all 9 districts last week, ranging from 0.04 of an inch in the West Central District to 1.38 inches in the Southeast District. According to the most recent drought monitor, drought conditions remain ed the same across the state despite recent rains. Statewide temperatures ranged from 21 degrees at Kenton on April 4 to 92 degrees at Hollis on April 2. Seedbed preparation s in Southwest Oklahoma were somewhat limited due to low soil moisture and high winds. However, Eastern Oklahoma received beneficial rains last week and crops progressed well. Small grains and forages were responding to the recent rainfall.
Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 25% adequate to surplus and 75% short to very short. Subsoil moisture conditions were rated 20% adequate to surplus and 80% short to very short. There were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork on average across the state.
As a result of ongoing drought conditions, small grains continue to be rated mostly fair to poor. Fourty-eight percent of the crop is rated poor to very poor, up from 44% last week. Meanwhile, 37% of the crop is rated fair and 15% good. None of the crop is rated excellent.
Winter wheat jointing reached 52% by Sunday, 6 points behind the previous year and 24 points behind the five-year average.
For the week ending April 6, 2014, precipitation in the form of snow and rain was light and averaged less than half an inch of moisture across most of Nebraska, providing little or no relief from dry conditions, according to USDA’s NASS. Southwestern counties continue d to experience severe or extreme drought. Temperatures averaged 2 to 4 degrees below normal across the northern two-thirds of the state and near normal across the south. Cool season grasses had yet to show much growth due to below normal temperatures and limited soil moisture. Fieldwork consisted of spring tillage and fertilizer applications. There were 5.0 days suitable for field work.
Topsoil moisture supplies rated 16% very short, 44% short, 40% adequate, and 0% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 18% very short, 40% short, 42% adequate, and 0% surplus.
Winter wheat condition rated 3% very poor, 10% poor, 31% fair, 50% good and 6% excellent. Last week, the crop was rated 2% very poor, 11% poor, 32% fair, 48% good and 7% excellent.