Winter Wheat Harvest Progresses Amid Dry Conditions

May 30, 2012 12:59 AM

Following are details from the state Crop/Weather Report:

Kansas: Last week, Kansas producers saw no relief from the dry and windy conditions while temperatures hit the triple-digits for the first time this year. Only 5 of the 53 stations recorded over one-half inch of rain for the week, while 30 stations received no precipitation at all. Hays led the State with 1.0 inch of rain, followed by Lawrence at 0.79 inch and Garnett at 0.77 inch. No stations in the North Central District received rain, only two stations in the South Central and Southeast Districts, reported precipitation last week, but both were less than a tenth of an inch, respectively, to receive rain, All stations had above normal temperatures again with weekly highs ranging from the upper high 80’s to 102 degrees in Hill City. Thirteen stations posted triple-digit temperatures, as record breaking heat spread across the State. Producers averaged 6.7 days suitable for fieldwork because of the dry conditions. Topsoil moisture conditions continued to decline rapidly and were rated at 29 percent very short, 45 percent short, 26 percent adequate, and none in surplus. Topsoil moisture in the adequate category declined by 13 points compared to the previous week. Last year at this time, 37 percent of topsoil moisture was rated as short to very short. The Southeast District has the highest adequate to surplus rating at 50 percent. Subsoil moisture supplies also declined to 18 percent very short, 46 percent short, 35 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. Many producers continued to be concerned with the effect of dry and windy conditions on row crops, while wheat producers prepared for an early harvest.Wheat harvest began in southern Kansas last week, as farmers had already reached 4 percent complete by Sunday, marking the earliest harvest start since data collection began in 1952. The second earliest harvest was in 1962 when one percent was harvested the week ending June 2. The crop continued to progress rapidly across the State in the hot, windy condition as 86 percent had turned color by Sunday. Forty percent of the crop had matured with the Central, South Central, and Southeast Districts reporting more than half of the crop matured. Wheat condition continued to decline and was rated at 8 percent very poor, 17 percent poor, 36 percent fair, 33 percent good, and 6 percent excellent. Insect damage was rated 16 percent light, 6 percent moderate, and 1 percent severe while disease damage was rated at 28 percent light, 16 percent moderate, and 4 percent severe.

Texas: Parts of North Texas, thePanhandle and the Trans-Pecos received rainfall last week with totals reaching three inches or more inisolated areas. Most other areas of Texas experienced warm and dry conditions. Dry weather across much of the state allowed producers to continue small grain harvest last week. Wheat harvest was beginning to wrap up in some areas. In areas ofNorth Texas, wet field conditions temporarily halted small grain harvest. Fungal diseases and armyworms were reported in some wheat fields.

Oklahoma: The Drought Monitor as of May 22nd showed a significant increase in the area rated as abnormally dry. Over two thirds of the state is now rated as abnormally dry or worse and almost 14 percent of the state is considered to be in a drought, with moderate to extreme conditions. Warm temperatures combined with wind and lack of rainfall to produce the dry conditions. Very little rain was recorded over the past week; however some rain fell in isolated areas of the Panhandle and Southwest districts, with 1.2 inches recorded in Boise City for the week ending Sunday. Wind gusts as strong as 75 mph were recorded at Woodward on Friday, and sustained winds over 40 mph were recorded through northwestern Oklahoma and the Panhandle. The warm and dry conditions continued to aid an early and rapidly progressing harvest of wheat and canola. Soil moisture conditions declined over the last week: 60 percent of topsoil and 62 percent of subsoil was rated short to very short. None was rated surplus. There were 6.6 days suitable for field work, due to the lack of rainfallHarvest of all small grains and canola continued significantly ahead of normal, facilitated by warm and dry conditions. The wheat harvest was 41 percent complete by Sunday, 31 points ahead of the previous year.

Nebraska: For the week ending May 27, 2012, weather continued to impact crops in most locations with hot, dry, and windy conditions, while storms provided some much needed moisture in portions of central and northeastern Nebraska, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office. Hail and tornadoes damaged crops and property in areas of the state and some replanting of spring crops will take place. Pivots were running to aid in crop germination and emergence. Wheat was mostly headed and 22 percent of the crop was turning color. Temperatures averaged near normal in the northern half of the state and 3 to7 degrees above normal in the southern half. High temperatures reached triple digits in several locations and lows of mid 30’s were recorded in the Panhandle. Heaviest levels of precipitation fell in the Central and Northeast Districts with accumulations of over 2 inches in isolated pockets. The Southeast District received little to no moisture. Wheat headed was 95 percent, ahead of 26 last year and 21 days ahead of 37 average. Wheat turning color was 22 percent. The impact of hot and dry conditions and low temperatures on wheat in the Panhandle is being felt. Wheat conditions declined and rated 3 percent very poor, 10 poor, 37 fair, 45 good, and 5 excellent, below 53 percent good to excellent last year and 64 average.

Colorado: Colorado experienced below average precipitation with above average temperatures last week. High winds were experienced on several days last week. Overall, the mountain snowpack is 7 percent of average. Farmers were allowed 6.3 days in the field for spring operations. Winter wheat progress increased to 99 percent headed, 48 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Twenty-six percent of the crop was reported turning color as of last week. The crop was rated in mostly fair to good condition.


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