Winter Wheat Harvest Progressing Northward Early

May 22, 2012 01:00 AM

Following are details from the state Crop/Weather Report:

Kansas: A few areas in Kansas reported record high temperatures last week while conditions remained windy and dry throughout much of the State. Only 10 of 53 stations recorded over a tenth of an inch while 25 stations received no rain whatsoever. Anthony received 1.08 inches of rain to lead the State and was the only station to report over an inch, followed by Oberlin at 0.58 inch and Atwood at 0.38 inch. Because of the isolated rainfall in Barber County, Anthony was the only station to receive above normal precipitation for the week. All stations had above normal temperatures with weekly highs in the 80’s and 90’s. Six stations had weekly high temperatures of 95 degrees or higher. Because of the lack of precipitation, producers averaged 6.9 days suitable for fieldwork with all districts averaging above 6.5 days suitable. The North Central and Central Districts reported all 7 days as being suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture conditions drastically declined last week and were rated at 19 percent very short, 42 percent short, 39 percent adequate, and none as surplus. This is a stark contrast to the previous week when 64 percent of topsoil moisture was rated in the adequate to surplus categories. Last year at this time, 49 percent of topsoil moisture was rated from short to very short. All but the Northeast and Southeast Districts reported over half of their topsoil moisture supplies to be short to very short. Subsoil moisture supplies also declined to 13 percent very short, 39 percent short, 48 percent adequate, and none as surplus. Lack of precipitation remained a concern for both the wheat crop and newly planted row crops as moisture supplies declined sharply. Some wheat producers were already preparing for harvest. The Central, South Central, and Southeast Districts all reported at least 85 percent of the wheat crop had turned color by Sunday. Statewide, 63 percent of the wheat crop had turned color, well ahead of 4 percent last year and the 5-year average of 2 percent. Five percent of Kansas wheat had already matured with the South Central and Southeast Districts reporting 14 percent and 19 percent matured, respectively. Wheat condition continued to decline and was rated at 6 percent very poor, 16 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 36 percent good, and 7 percent excellent. Insect damage increased slightly to 19 percent light, 5 percent moderate, and 1 percent severe while disease damage increased to 29 percent light, 17 percent moderate, and 5 percent severe.

Texas: Much of the state received rainfall last week. Portions of Central and South Texas received five inches or more while most other areas observed scattered showers. Parts of the Low Plains and North Texas received little or no rainfall. Winter wheat harvest and hay baling continued around the state with yield reports varying widely. In the High Plains, some small grain producers were able to halt irrigation because of rainfall. Problems with rust were reported in some areas. Surplus rain delayed harvest in parts of Central Texas.

Oklahoma: Wheat harvest continued to move north, into west central Oklahoma. Most of the week was warm and dry, but rain over the weekend slowed progress in some areas. Both wheat and canola were being harvested ahead of normal, and reported yields were an improvement from last year’s drought-stricken crop. The drought was still hanging on in the Panhandle; high temperatures and strong winds continued to remove soil moisture there. Planting of corn was virtually complete, and all other row crop plantings were at least ten points ahead of the five-year average. Severe weather over the weekend brought with it hail and isolated heavy rainfall. Ninnekah, in Grady County, recorded 3.6 inches of rain on Sunday, and most of the week’s rain fell in the southwestern quarter of the state. Soil moisture conditions declined over the last week. Half of the state was rated with adequate topsoil moisture and 47 percent had adequate subsoil moisture. There were 6.4 days suitable for field work. An early and rapid harvest continued to move north through the state. Conditions of all small grains and canola were rated mostly good to excellent. Ninety-five percent of wheat was in the soft dough stage of development, 33 points ahead of the five-year average. The wheat harvest was 14 percent complete by Sunday.

Nebraska: For the week ending May 20, 2012, hot, dry, and windy conditions prevailed until showers moved across portions of eastern Nebraska late in the week, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office. The above normal temperatures and winds have taken a toll on soil moisture levels, which continue well below last year and normal. Producers have started pivots to aid crop germination and to activate chemicals. Progress in planting spring crops continued ahead of average with corn near completion, soybeans near two weeks ahead of average, and half of the sorghum crop planted. Wheat was 81 percent headed, 19 days ahead of average. Progress of the first cutting of alfalfa was 3 weeks ahead of average. Proso millet and dry bean planting continued. The dry conditions have affected pastures as well, with poorest conditions in northern Panhandle counties. Temperatures averaged 3 degrees above normal in the west to 6 degrees above normal in the east. High temperatures ranged from the mid 90’s to lows of lower 30’s in the Panhandle. Precipitation fell across most areas of the state but accumulation varied widely. The Northeast District received the largest amounts with some locations recording over 1.5 inches of rain. The Panhandle has received near half of normal precipitation since the first of the year. Wheat headed was 81 percent, ahead of 6 last year and 19 days ahead of 11 average. The impact of hot and dry conditions and low temperatures on wheat in the Panhandle is being felt. Wheat conditions declined and rated 2 percent very poor, 6 poor, 32 fair, 52 good, and 8 excellent, above last year’s 52 percent good to excellent but below 64 average.

Colorado: Colorado experienced below average precipitation with slightly above average temperatures last week. High winds, combined with the limited moisture, raise concerns over the availability of soil moisture later in the growing season. Overall, the mountain snowpack is 9 percent of average. Farmers were allowed 6.5 days in the field for spring operations. Winter wheat progress increased to 90 percent headed, 62 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average. Seven percent of the crop was reported turning color as of last week. The crop was rated in mostly good to fair condition.


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