Wind gusts of 50 miles per hour or higher were recorded at Mesonet locations across north central Oklahoma last Thursday afternoon.
The resulting dust storm blew away topsoil and closed I-35 for several hours.
Almost no rain was recorded in Oklahoma this past week and precipitation for the period since Sept. 1 was below normal in all districts. Notably, the North Central district has received only half of the normal moisture during this period.
As of the Oct. 18 Drought Monitor, two thirds of the state was still in an extreme or exceptional drought, with virtually all of the North Central district designated as exceptional, or D-4 drought.
Topsoil moisture conditions declined from the week prior, with 69 percent rated poor to very poor. Subsoil moisture rated as adequate was unchanged, however the portion rated as very short increased to 54 percent.
There were 6.5 days suitable for fieldwork.
Planting was winding down as much of the fall crop was emerging significantly ahead of last year's progress. Wheat planting was 86 percent complete by the end of the week, seven points ahead of normal progress, and 59 percent of the crop had emerged.
The fourth cutting of alfalfa was 68 percent complete by the end of the week. The second cutting of other hay was 70 percent complete, 10 points behind normal, but 14 points ahead of last year's progress.
Conditions of pasture and range continued to be rated mostly poor to very poor. Livestock conditions were rated mostly good to fair. Prices for feeder steers less than 800 pounds averaged $148 per hundred-weight. Prices for heifers less than 800 pounds averaged $135 per hundred-weight.
The entire Oklahoma report can be view online at: www.nass.usda.
gov/ok under "Recent Reports." The national database, Quick Stats, and all USDA-NASS reports are available on the agency's web site: www.nass.usda.gov.