Winter Wheat Conditions Deteriorate Amid Worsening Drought

March 31, 2014 10:10 AM
 

 

 

According to state crop reports, the condition of the winter wheat crops across the Southern Plains declined in the latest week, with state reports noting the need for widespread precip to improve soil moisture. Below is a table that includes crop condition ratings from the respective state statisticians.

Crop condition
Very Poor
Poor
Fair
Good
Excellent
Kansas -
03/31/14
7
18
43
30
2
03/24/14
5
16
46
31
2
 
Okla. -
03/31/14
15
29
39
17
0
03/24/14
14
28
41
16
1
 
Texas -
03/31/14
20
39
30
10
1
03/24/14
18
37
34
10
1

 

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

Kansas: For the week ending March 30, 2014, dry conditions continued for southwest Kansas, while areas in the eastern half and northwest received some much needed precipitation in the form of light rain and snow according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Totals were limited to less than a half inch. Temperatures were mild in the west but cooler than normal in the east, with a couple of extremely windy days that caused blowing soils, particularly in the southwest. Some farmers are planting cover crops and preparing row crop fields for planting. There were 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 24 percent very short, 44 short, 32 adequate, and 0 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 23 percent very short, 43 short, 34 adequate, and 0 surplus. The wheat crop is in need of moisture in most areas. Comments of cut worms, wheat turning blue and blowouts were reported this week. Winter wheat condition rated 7 percent very poor, 18 poor, 43 fair, 30 good, and 2 excellent. Winter wheat jointed was 5 percent, compared to 12 last year and 21 average.

Oklahoma: Drought conditions remained the same across the state despite the recent rains. Precipitation ranged from 0.04 of an inch in the Panhandle to 0.4 inches in the East Central District. According to the most recent drought monitor, just over 8 percent of the state is rated exceptional drought, mainly in the far West Central and Southwest Districts. Exceptional drought is the worst drought category and ratings have doubled in the past week. Overall 95 percent of the state is categorized in a drought, remaining unchanged from the previous week. Oklahoma has received just over half of the normal amount of precipitation since the beginning of the growing season. Statewide temperatures ranged from 19 degrees at Beaver on Tuesday, March 25th to 85 degrees also at Beaver on Sunday, March 30th. Low moisture and high winds continued to be a major concern last week. Wind erosion and dust storms continued in the Panhandle and Southwest Oklahoma. The progression of small grain crops in western Oklahoma have slowed considerably due to the dry season, when compared to last year and the five - year average. However areas in the South Central and Southeast districts responded well to the recent warm temperatures. Pastures started to green and crop conditions showed good progress. Topsoil moisture conditions were rated 26 percent adequate to surplus and 74 percent short to very short. Subsoil moisture conditions were rated 19 percent adequate to surplus and 81 percent short to very short . There were 6.0 days suitable for fieldwork on average across the state. Small grains continue to be rated mostly fair to poor. Winter wheat jointing reached 38 percent by Sunday, 11 points behind the previous year and 25 points behind the five year average.

Texas: Warmer weather along with thunderstorms, high winds, and increased humidity were reported in many areas of the state. Areas of North East Texas, the Upper Coast and the Coastal Bend received a quarter of an inch to an inch of precipitation. The Southern High Plains received a tenth of an inch to a quarter of an inch of precipitation. The remainder of the state received trace amounts of precipitation. Small Grains: Lack of precipitation slowed development of the winter wheat crop in the Southern Low Plains. Small grains in the Cross Timbers showed signs of recovery following recent precipitation. Both winter wheat and oats were beginning to head in South Texas.

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