The Pryor Times

Agriculture

February 28, 2013

Moisture helps; drought continues

PRYOR, OK — OKLAHOMA CITY — Multiple rain and snow events throughout February provided improvements to soil moisture conditions according to the Oklahoma Crop Weather report issued by the USDA-NASS Oklahoma Field Office.

A storm came through Feb. 12, with the heaviest rainfall totals up to an inch in southern Oklahoma. Snow was also falling in the north and the west but most melted quickly, though totals as high as 5 inches in the Panhandle and far western Oklahoma were observed.

Feb. 20-21 two separate snowfall events accumulated as much as 13.5 inches in Alva, with widespread snowfall across the state at varying amounts.

The Panhandle observed snow totals up to 12 inches in localized areas on the Feb. 21.

Another system moved into the state beginning Feb. 24, with totals still to be seen. Precipitation totals for the month to date averaged 2.13 inches for the state. These totals only include rain and melted snow through Feb. 24.

McAlester recorded 3.54 inches for the period, while Kenton in the Panhandle recorded only 0.26 of an inch.

Although the precipitation for the last 30 days has been above normal, statewide precipitation for the period since Sept. 1 was only 63 percent of normal, ranging from 55 percent of normal in the North Central district to 77 percent of normal in the Panhandle.

Some improvements to crop conditions were reported, with wheat, canola and rye moving from mostly poor to very poor in January to mostly fair to poor in February. This allowed for a small increase in the amount of the crop being grazed, though grazing was reported to be significantly less than normal.

Pasture condition ratings have not yet shown significant improvements, though some areas have reported new growth in winter forage from the last few snow and rain events.

Overall some recharge of ponds and lakes has occurred, but water levels are still very low. Topsoil moisture conditions improved greatly from January, with 43 percent rated adequate and even two percent rated surplus. Subsoil moisture conditions were still rated mostly very short, with nine percent rated adequate.

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