Warmer weather in forecast for western states


WYOBRASKA – A return to more seasonal weather is forecast across much of the Plains and Western states to kick off October as fall harvest activities ramp up, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture weather forecasting bureau..

In the West, dry weather continues to deplete soil moisture and severely stress rangeland and pastures. On Sept. 27, topsoil moisture was rated more than 60% short in every Western State except Arizona. Meanwhile, Western rangeland and pastures were rated at least one-half very poor to poor in all states except Idaho, Nevada and Utah. 

In addition, several dangerous and destructive fires continue to burn in California. Northern California blazes that ignited on Sept. 27 – the Glass and Zogg Fires – have each scorched more than 30,000 acres, with no containment. 

On the Plains, mild, breezy conditions are developing across Montana and expanding eastward. Meanwhile, cool, dry weather covers the remainder of the nation’s mid-section. 

Drought-related slow emergence remains a concern in some winter wheat production areas. Topsoil moisture was rated at least 60% very short to short in Colorado, Montana, Nebraska and South Dakota. Producers in Colorado had planted 66% of their intended winter wheat acreage, 9 percentage points ahead of the 5-year average, but only 19% of the crop had emerged, 8 points behind average.

In the Corn Belt, cool, dry weather prevailed in the wake of a cold front’s passage. Some producers are harvesting soybeans before cutting corn, with the soybean harvest one-quarter to one-third complete in Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, and the Dakotas. Iowa’s soybean harvest was 30% complete, versus the 5-year average of 8%. 

In the South, showers in the vicinity of a cold front extend southwestward from the Appalachians to the central Gulf Coast. Locally heavy showers were also occurring along the Atlantic Coast. 

As the harvest season continues, some areas are contending with wet conditions due to three tropical cyclones (Hurricanes Laura and Sally, along with Tropical Storm Beta) in little more than a month. As of Sept. 27, topsoil moisture was at least 20% surplus in eight Southern States. 

Outlook: Locally heavy showers will linger through mid-week in the East. As rain spreads northward, some drought relief can be expected in the Northeast. 

Later in the week, some of the coldest air of the season will overspread the Midwest. By Oct. 2-3, widespread freezes should occur from Nebraska and the Dakotas into the Great Lakes region. 

Elsewhere, dry weather will prevail during the next five days across the western half of the U.S., although unusually warm weather in the West will contrast with chilly conditions in most areas east of the Rockies. 

The National Weather Service 6- to 10-day outlook for Oct. 4 – 8 calls for below-normal temperatures across much of the eastern half of the country, while warmer-than-normal weather will cover southern Florida and areas from the Pacific Coast to the High Plains. 

Meanwhile, wetter-than-normal conditions along and near the Atlantic Seaboard should contrast with near- or below-normal precipitation across the remainder of the U.S.

Activities progress for
Cornhusker producers

LINCOLN, Neb. – For the week ending Sept. 27, there were 6.6 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service field office in Lincoln. 

Topsoil moisture supplies rated 20% very short, 40% short, 39% adequate, and 1% surplus.

Subsoil moisture supplies rated 23% very short, 35% short, 41% adequate, and 1% surplus.

Field Crops Report:

Corn condition rated 6% very poor, 11% poor, 20% fair, 44% good, and 19% excellent. Corn mature was 80%, well ahead of 48% last year, and ahead of 65% for the five-year average. Harvested was 14%, ahead of 7% last year, and near 10% average.

Soybean condition rated 6% very poor, 11% poor, 22% fair, 45% good, and 16% excellent. Soybeans dropping leaves was 92%, well ahead of 69% last year, and ahead of 80% average. Harvested was 29%, well ahead of 4% last year, and ahead of 13% average.

Winter wheat planted was 60%, behind 65% last year and 66% average. Emerged was 15%, near

16% last year, and behind 27% average.

Sorghum condition rated 5% very poor, 8% poor, 29% fair, 35% good, and 23% excellent. Sorghum coloring was 98%, near 97% both last year and average. Mature was 71%, well ahead of 33% last year, and ahead of 56% average. Harvested was 7%, ahead of 1% last year, but near 9% average.

Dry edible beans dropping leaves was 91%, near 92% last year. Harvested was 75%, ahead of

61% last year.

Pasture and Range Report: 

Pasture and range conditions rated 13% very poor, 21% poor, 25%

fair, 39% good, and 2% excellent.

Drought expands
in Cowboy State

CHEYENNE, Wyo. – For the week ending Sept. 27, Wyoming experienced warm and dry conditions across much of the state, according to the Mountain Regional Field Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, USDA. 

Scattered showers with warm day temperatures and cool nights occurred in most parts of the state over the past week. According to the National Integrated Drought Information System, Wyoming’s drought conditions have increased from last week. Most of the state has large sections in extremely dry to drought conditions. 

According to the NIDIS, the amount of land rated as experiencing extreme drought stands at 19.6%. The amount of land rated at severe drought, moderate drought, and abnormally dry was 28.4%, 27.9%, and 20.9%, respectively. 

A reporter from Western Wyoming reported they had warm days and cool nights well below freezing, which has shut down most plant growth. They also report most of the cattle have been moved to winter pastures. 

A reporter from the South-Central part of Wyoming indicated windy and dry conditions persisted. Another reporter from South-Central Wyoming noted warm, dry and windy conditions have made it worse for those fighting wildfires. 

They also reported cattle are being moved early and some producers have had to haul water. 

A reporter from Southeastern Wyoming noted it has been hot and dry. Another reporter from Southeastern Wyoming indicated the recent snowfall and rain showers helped with some limited fall grazing.

Another reporter from Southeastern Wyoming said, although they got some moisture, it was barely enough to settle the dust. They also indicated they are experiencing higher fire danger conditions. 

Sugarbeet and corn for grain harvest has started. Winter wheat planting and dry bean harvest continued to progress. Stock water supplies across Wyoming were rated 23% very short, 37% 

short, and 40% adequate, compared to 25% very short, 33% short, and 42% adequate last week. 

Irrigation water supplies were rated 16% very poor, 11% poor, 19% fair, and 54% good, compared to 15% very poor, 14% poor, 26% fair and 45% good last week.

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