Following are details from the state Crop/Weather Report:
Kansas: Cooler-than-normal temperatures combined with limited precipitation across Kansas last week helped farmers harvest their fall crops at a rapid pace. Freezing temperatures were wide spread across the State, with only a few exceptions in the south. Herington recorded the coldest temperatures of the week at 21 degrees, while average temperatures were 10 degrees below normal in Clay Center and Ottawa. Drought conditions continued for most of the State last week as only one of the 52 stations reported more than a half inch of rain, Pittsburg with 1.09 inches, while Hutchinson and Dodge City were nearly 15 inches below normal for the year. Kansas farmers averaged 6.6 days suitable for field work last week as all districts had over 6 days suitable. Topsoil moisture supplies declined from the previous week to 32 percent very short, 33 percent short, 34 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 44 percent very short, 31 percent short, and 25 percent adequate. Farmers continued to harvest fall crops and plant any remaining winter wheat. Kansas winter wheat producers have only 8 percent of their crop remaining to be planted as of Sunday bringing the total planted to 92 percent, compared to 91 percent last year and the 5-year average of 86 percent. Seventy percent of the crop had emerged, ahead of 61 percent the previous year and 65 percent for the 5-year average. Wheat condition was rated as 4 percent excellent, 39 percent good, 45 percent fair, 9 percent poor, and 3 percent very poor.
Texas: Areas of the Cross Timbers and East Texas received up to 2 inches of rainfall, while the rest of the state observed little to no rainfall. Producers seeded dryland winter wheat in anticipation of moisture in areas of the Plains. Producers in need of pasture growth continued to run irrigation pivots on emerging wheat and oat fields in areas of the Northern High Plains. In areas of the Low Plains and South Texas, emerging wheat progressed well due to recent rainfall; however, more moisture was needed for a sustainable crop. Producers in areas of the Cross Timbers were actively seeding wheat and oat fields due to adequate soil moisture. In areas of the Upper Coast, the ratoon rice harvest progressed well.
Oklahoma: The past week brought scattered rain, hail, and freezing temperatures across much of the state. Rain was reported in seven of the nine reporting districts with both Panhandle and West Central districts reporting no measurable rain, while the Southeast district reported 1.46 inches. Mesonet reported wind gusts ranging from 63 mph at the Ketchum Ranch to 70 mph gusts reported in Hectorville in the last seven days. Okfuskee County reported softball sized hail, damaging winds and a tornado on Saturday, October 22nd. Eight of the nine reporting districts reported low temperatures below 32 degrees, with both Nowata and Tahlequah recording a low of 23 degrees on Thursday, October 20th. While the recent rains were welcomed, the state remains in a severe-to-exceptional drought, which has sparked concerns over reservoir levels in eastern Oklahoma. Topsoil moisture conditions declined from last week with 31 percent rated very short, compared to 28 percent last week. Subsoil moisture conditions showed no improvement, with 70 percent rated very short, compared to 69 percent the week before. There were 6.4 days suitable for field work. Small grains and canola producers were in the field with planting in full swing. Seedbed preparation for wheat ground was 98 percent complete by week’s end and planting reached 82 percent complete, up 19 points from the previous week. Wheat emerged was 50 percent complete, 14 points behind the five-year average.
Nebraska: For the week ending October 23, 2011, hard freezing temperatures were recorded in many locations, ending the growing season and promoting the dry down of unharvested crops, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office. Most of the wheat crop has emerged with conditions well above last year. Temperatures for the week averaged 7 degrees below normal resulting in the first hard freeze. High temperatures reached the 70’s and lows dipped into the lower 20’s. Limited rain fell during the week with accumulations less than a quarter of an inch in most locations. Winter Wheat conditions rated 0 percent very poor, 0 poor, 18 fair, 68 good, and 14 excellent, well above 40 percent good to excellent last year. Winter Wheat seeded was 99 percent, equal to last year and near 98 average. Wheat emerged was 93 percent, near 90 last year and average.
Colorado: Most of Colorado experienced below average precipitation and average temperatures last week. The dry conditions have aided the harvest of row crops. Farmers were allowed 6.8 days in the field for operations last week. Planting of winter wheat comes to a close with 99 percent complete. The crop was 83 percent emerged and in mostly fair to good condition by the end of last week. Some wheat fields have been reported with spotty stands due to the lack of moisture.
Juli says: Yesterday's crop condition ratings mirrored last year at this time, which is a concern for the crop. Without moisture near-term, the winter wheat crop will go into dormancy needing winter moisture.