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11-23-2012 08:23 PM
Plains’ wheat crop is in tough shape
From South Dakota to Texas, the U.S. hard red winter wheat crop is in bad shape.
“The crop is really in dire straits,” says USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey. “It got off to a rough start in South Dakota and Nebraska. States south of there, especially from Kansas through Texas, it has turned dry—virtually no rain since the first of October in many of the central and southern Plains’ locations.”
The “poor to very poor” ratings in the latest crop progress report tell the story—South Dakota at 60 percent, Nebraska 40, Kansas 24 and Oklahoma at 44 percent poor to very poor. In fact, those condition ratings are at some of their lowest levels since USDA starting tracking those statistics in 1986.
And Rippey says the prospects for improvement are not very bright.
“For the South Dakota to Texas portion of the belt, there’s really no prospect for any appreciable precipitation during the next two weeks, outside of a few sprinkles or snow flurries from time to time,” he says. “So I don’t think we’ll see any appreciable drought relief as we head on through the remainder of November and into December.
“We need a pattern change—we need a couple of big storms—we need some snowfall to bring back this winter wheat crop from the brink of disaster.”
But on the positive side, Rippey says, “we’re doing reasonably well in the soft red winter wheat belt, which stretches through the mid-South into the Eastern Corn Belt—and we’re doing reasonably well in the white winter wheat belt of the Northwest.”
But because half of the winter wheat comes from the Plains and hard red winter wheat belt, Rippey says, the overall picture is rather bleak.
11-23-2012 08:30 PM
Only 17 percent of Nebraska’s winter wheat crop qualifies for a “good” rating this week.
Forty-three percent of the crop is rated fair, with 40 percent called poor to very poor. Those are the poorest mid-November ratings for the crop since 1990.
Most of Nebraska continues in extreme drought with soil moisture profiles depleted. During the past 60 days, the western two-thirds of the state has received less than one inch of precipitation. That’s where most of the state’s wheat is grown
11-23-2012 09:12 PM
11-24-2012 10:20 AM
It depends on how the water rights are allotted. Some are allowed to irrigate a certain number of acres, but at whatever rate the crop requires (I have that type), others are allotted so many acre inches of water, to do with as they see fit, within the fields specified.
11-24-2012 05:09 PM
the second one is what we have. Without a change in rainfall we will need 22 of our 24 inches for corn or beans. Doesn't leave much for wheat unless we sacrifice summer crop acres.
Thanks --------- just curious.
11-24-2012 05:32 PM
Two from our place crossed the heart of the HRW bread basket today, one on the north end -----Abilene to Larned Ks---------small but good stands and color. On west things get dryer and tougher.
Other went from "the City" northwest through the Enid/Jet/Alva Okla. area. This is an annual trek for me. the south end of the basket is dry and in bad shape. Poor stands blue and dry small wheat. Worse than 2011 or 2012. If you know the area you will understand the conditions when I say "there are just a few more than 0 cattle on wheat across that area" Something I have never seen before.
11-25-2012 06:51 AM
My operation stretches about 25-50 miles north of the Larned area. I can vouge for SW posts. Absolutely 0 grazing of wheat in this area, and seriously doubt if there will be this year. We have received 1.31" rain since Oct. 13, but keep in mind, all we have now is topsoil moisture. There is no reserve in the subsoil. Most wheat emerged well, but has been going backwards ever since. I would venture to say the best looking wheat is probably the no-till wheat, which is a far cry from actually looking good.