OMAHA – According to the USDA Crop Progress Report for the week ending May 26, 2019, topsoil moisture supplies rated 0 percent very short, 0 short, 60 adequate, and 40 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 0 percent very short, 0 short, 72 adequate, and 28 surplus. Winter wheat conditions rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 26 fair, 59 good, and 11 excellent. Winter wheat headed was 19 percent, behind last year’s 32 percent, and well behind the 50 percent average.
Producers in the northern Panhandle said wheat that had been flattened or covered with snow is recovering nicely. Most fields appear to have bounced back with minimal stem breakage. Moisture supplies are adequate to surplus. Wheat is in the boot stage. Producers expressed concerns that if warmer temperatures are not received soon, protein levels come harvest may be lower than desired.
Severe storms brought damaging hail to parts of the southern Panhandle said producers in the region. Some areas received golf ball size hail. Wheat fields in those areas are a total loss. Producers said some fields appeared as though they had been mowed because of the hail damage. Most damage centered around the Ogallala and Big Springs area, though hail was reported as far west in the region as Sidney. An estimated 5 percent of fields across the southern Panhandle are considered damaged at or above 50 percent from hail. The region received as much as 5 inches of rain in the last 10 days. Cooler temperatures have wheat growth still in the flag leaf stage for most of the region.
Producers in southwest Nebraska said the area continued to receive moisture, with the region looking adequate to surplus on soil moisture levels. Storms also brought some hail to the region. However, an estimated 2 percent or less of the region saw a total loss due to hail. Another 5 percent of the region saw damage of some level from hail. Wheat ranges from flag leaf to just starting heading. No disease pressure were reported, but producers said many in the area were looking to apply fungicide due to the extent of disease reported south of the state line.
In south central Nebraska, producers reported continued precipitation and cool temperatures delayed many gains in wheat growth. The earlier planted wheat has good stands and appears in good to excellent condition. Later planted wheat ranges in height from 4 to 12 inches. Some producers had indicated plans to destroy those fields and plant them to another crop, however, continued wet conditions have delayed decisions in many instances. Earlier planted wheat is starting to head.
Producers in southeastern Nebraska said the region received rain again during the last week. In some areas producers said the rainfall levels were excessive. No additional gains in growth were reported due to the continued cool, wet conditions. Earlier planted wheat is 100 percent headed. Later planted fields range from 50 to 70 percent headed. Producers said warm, dry weather is needed now. Some producers expressed concern about scab pressure if rainfall continued when the wheat begins flowering. No scab or other diseases have been reported, but producers are being vigilant in scouting.