The Pryor Times


August 23, 2012

Rainfall welcomed; more needed

OKLAHOMA CITY — Four of the nine districts averaged more than an inch of rain over the last week, with a statewide average of 0.92 of an inch, according to this week’s Oklahoma Crop Weather report issued by the USDA-NASS Oklahoma Field Office. Broken Bow recorded 5.11 inches of rain while five Mesonet stations recorded no precipitation for the week.

Overall the rain was beneficial, but provided no significant improvements to conditions. In most areas there was no run-off to improve water availability for livestock, and hay supplies from the spring were already being used to supplement the lack of pasture.

Producers continued culling herds and making difficult decisions in the face of the ongoing drought. Temperatures were significantly cooler than the previous week, with highs averaging from the upper 80s to the low 90s. Ninety-seven percent of topsoil was rated short to very short and subsoil moisture conditions worsened over the past week to 98 percent rated short to very short. There were 6.4 days suitable for field work.

Small Grains: Plowing of wheat ground was 91 percent complete, up six points from this time last year. Rye and oat plowing were also 91 percent complete.

Row Crops: Conditions declined for all row crops except peanuts. Concerns about aflatoxin in corn were reported. Almost all of the corn was in the dough stage by Sunday. Corn dent was reported in 81 percent of the crop while 58 percent was mature, 24 points ahead of normal progress. The corn harvest was 34 percent complete by the end of the week, 28 points ahead of the five-year average. Sorghum headed reached 74 percent complete and 40 percent was coloring, 13 points ahead of the five-year average. Sorghum mature reached 24 percent complete by week's end, 19 points ahead of normal. Soybeans blooming reached 79 percent complete and 45 percent of the crop was setting pods by the end of the week. Seventy-nine percent of peanuts were setting pods by Sunday, five points ahead of normal and 24 points ahead of last year. Cotton squaring was 96 percent complete by the end of the week and 65 percent of the crop was setting bolls.

The watermelon harvest was 84 percent complete by week's end, 15 points behind last year's harvest.

Hay: Condition ratings continued to decline, with 71 percent of alfalfa and 73 percent of other hay rated poor to very poor. The third cutting of alfalfa was 89 percent complete and a fourth cutting of alfalfa was 23 percent complete by Sunday, 19 points behind normal. The second cutting of other hay reached 53 percent complete, 16 points ahead of normal.

Pasture and Livestock: Despite the moderate rainfall, condition ratings of pasture and range continued to decline, and 82 percent of pasture and range land was rated poor to very poor Producers continued to provide supplemental feed and hay to cattle as needed, due to the poor condition of grasses. Culling of herds was also necessary for some operations.

Livestock was rated mostly good to fair with 20 percent rated in poor to very poor condition. Prices for feeder steers less than 800 pounds averaged $141 per cwt. Prices for heifers less than 800 pounds averaged $132 per cwt.

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