Crops progressing well despite dry conditions

WYOBRASKA – Precipitation was hit-or-miss for many locations east of the Great Plains, with conditions ranging from normal to moderate drought throughout much of the WyoBraska region for the period ending Tuesday, July 7, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor website, 

The Western Region is mainly status quo, except for the northern Rockies and Pacific Northwest, where an active storm was tracking. Idaho benefitted the most, with several locations seeing category improvements, particularly western Idaho, which received 0.5-1.5 inches of rainfall. Light showers in eastern Washington and northeastern Oregon led to slight reduction of D0 and D1 coverages. Soil moisture is below the 10th percentile in many areas across the Great Basin and northern California. 

USGS 7-day average stream flows also continue to be below to much below normal this week for much of the Four Corners Region, the Great Basin, and northern California.

Much of the Midwest, South and Southeast saw combinations of abnormally dry additions and removals based on seven-day rainfall accumulations. Most areas upgraded from abnormally dry conditions received at least 2-3 inches of rainfall. 

Some short-term dryness crept into southern Georgia (isolated 2-4 inch 30-day deficits) and the Florida Gulf Coast (widespread 2-4-inch deficits over the last 14 days). The Mid-Atlantic coast saw some expansion of dry conditions near the Delmarva Peninsula. Portions of New England saw more than 3 inches of rainfall, drastically reducing 30- and 60-day deficits and warranting some D1 removal. 

However, USGS 7-day average stream flows remain below normal for much of the Northeast. The High Plains and northern Rockies also received some beneficial rainfall. Many locations in Idaho saw single-category improvements, ranging from D1 to D0 to D0 removal), but much of the northern High Plains Region did not receive enough rainfall for much improvement.

Some degradation from D3 to D4 occurred in southeastern Colorado and southwestern Kansas in areas where little or no precipitation fell and temperatures averaged above normal for the week. 

The wildfire risk remains high for many locations that remain in drought, particularly in the West.

Crops progressing 

across Cornhusker state

For the week ending July 5, there were 6.1 days suitable for fieldwork on average across Nebraska, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service regional office in Lincoln. 

Topsoil moisture supplies rated 16% very short, 34% short, 49% adequate, and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 11% very short, 28% short, 60% adequate, and 1% surplus.

Field Crops Report

Corn condition rated 1% very poor, 5% poor, 20% fair, 52% good and 22% excellent. Corn silking was 4%, near 1% last year, but behind 11% for the five-year average.

Soybean condition rated 1% very poor, 4% poor, 19% fair, 56% good and 20% excellent. Soybeans blooming was 41%, well ahead of 7% last year and ahead of 27% average. Setting pods was 4%.

Winter wheat condition rated 4% very poor, 14% poor, 32% fair, 47% good and 3% excellent. Winter wheat harvested was 16%, ahead of 1% last year, but near 19% average.

Sorghum condition rated 1% very poor, 3% poor, 28% fair, 57% good and 11% excellent. Sorghum headed was 7%, near 10% last year and 5% average.

Oats condition rated 2% very poor, 11% poor, 30% fair, 52% good and 5% excellent. Oats headed was 97%, ahead of 86% last year, and near 95% average.

Dry edible bean condition rated 1% poor, 27% fair, 65% good and 7% excellent. Dry edible beans blooming was 8%.

Pasture and Range Report

Pasture and range conditions rated 5% very poor, 9% poor, 23% fair, 59% good, and 4% excellent.

Minor drought plagues 

portions of Cowboy state

Wyoming experienced mostly normal to above normal temperatures for the week ending July 5, according to the NASS Mountain Regional Field Office in Cheyenne. 

Precipitation across Wyoming for the week ending July 28 was at or below normal for most of the state. According to the National Integrated Drought Information System, Wyoming has a swath of drought stretching across the state from east to west and another from north to south. 

A reporter in the North Central region said the light moisture received this last week has done little to reduce the drought. They also said grasshoppers have become a problem for producers. 

A producer from Western Wyoming reported producers are cutting hay, but yields are light due to a cool June. 

A reporter from South Central Wyoming said conditions have been hot and dry and producers are way ahead of schedule cutting hay. They also indicate a lack of livestock water and grass has caused producers to take livestock off summer pastures earlier than normal. 

Dry conditions continue to persist across southeastern portions of the state, according to reports. 

Stock water supplies across Wyoming were rated 21% short and 79% adequate. Irrigation water supplies were rated 3% poor, 12% fair, and 85% good.

The weekly Crop and Weather report noted 6.3 days suitable for field work on average across Wyoming for the week. Topsoil moisture ranked at 20% very short overall, with 46% reporting short supplies and just one-third of the state reporting adequate topsoil moisture. Subsoil moisture was in much the same condition, with 19% very short supplies reported, 46% short and 35% adequate supply reported.

First-cutting alfalfa was reported at 82%, with 3% reporting they’d advanced to second cuttings. For other types of hay, producers reported 55% finished with first cutting harvest.

Some 6% of dry edible beans were blooming and 83% of the state’s winter wheat crop was headed, with 44% turning color. Just 1% reported mature winter wheat ready for harvest in Wyoming.

Alfalfa conditions were reported 31% poor to fair and 69% good. Corn rated 17% poor to fair, with 79% of the state’s crop in good condition and just 4% ranked as excellent.

There were similar numbers for dry edible beans in Wyoming, with 85% of the crop rated good. Winter wheat ranked 17% poor to very poor, 29% fair and 54% good.


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