Oklahoma: Severe Weather Damage Across the State
Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending April 15, 2012
The week began with severe storms moving across the Panhandle and northwestern Oklahoma on Monday, April 9th. Severe storms returned Wednesday as a powerful system approached Oklahoma, with increasing intensity through the weekend. High winds, hail and tornadoes were reported as this system moved across the state. The strongest tornado hit the town of Woodward in Woodward county, scattering damage throughout of the city, deaths were reported. Several other tornadoes were reported with damage ranging from trees being uprooted to homes and barns being destroyed. Hail, up to softball sized, was reported with some of these storms. On Sunday, April 15th, Governor Mary Fallin declared a state of emergency for 12 counties as severe damage resulted from the straight line winds, flooding and tornadoes. Crop and structural damage assessments will continue for the next several days.
The average rainfall for the state was 1.42 inches; with the highest amount, 5.06 inches, recorded at Miami’s Mesonet station. Subsoil moisture condition ratings continued to show improvement with the recent rains, as 5 percent was rated surplus and 55 percent adequate. Topsoil moisture conditions also improved as 12 percent was rated surplus and 71 percent adequate, compared to only 11 percent a year ago. There were 4.2 days suitable for field work, as storms hindered field accessibility.
Small Grains: High winds, rain and hail from the storms damaged some wheat and canola fields. The crop conditions showed a slight decrease due to the damage. Wheat jointing reached 95 percent complete by Sunday, five points ahead of the five-year average. Seventy-two percent of wheat was heading by the end of the week, 31 points ahead of last week and 55 points ahead of the five-year average. Nine percent of canola was mature by Sunday. Canola condition was rated at 73 percent good to excellent. Rye jointing was virtually complete, at 98 percent, with 91 percent headed by the end of the week. Oat jointing was 66 percent complete and 12 percent was headed by Sunday.
Row Crops: Storms limited field preparation for row crops during the week. Some fields that were ready for planting may need to be reworked as rain damaged seedbed formations. Corn seedbed preparation was 95 percent complete by the end of the week, 11 points ahead of normal. Corn planting was 52 percent complete, 6 points ahead of last year’s crop and 16 points ahead of normal; with emerged at 19 percent by week’s end, 14 points ahead of a year ago. Sorghum seedbed preparation was 65 percent complete, 12 points ahead of last year, with a small portion of the crop emerging by Sunday. Preparation of soybean seedbeds was 40 percent complete by Sunday, remaining on-track with normal progress. Peanut seedbed preparation was 52 percent complete, slightly behind normal. Cotton seedbed preparation reached 78 percent complete, 28 points ahead of last year.
Pasture and Livestock: Pasture and range conditions continued to show improvement with the recent rains, as only 14 percent was rated poor to very poor. As hay fields and pastures dry, producers will begin cutting forage. The continued improvement of pasture has enabled more grazing, allowing a decrease in supplemental feeding. Livestock conditions continued to be rated mostly good to fair. Prices for feeder steers less than 800 pounds averaged $157 per cwt. Prices for heifers less than 800 pounds averaged $144 per cwt.
Temperatures ranged from 38 degrees at Hooker on Sunday, April 15th, to 90 degrees at Altus on Saturday, April 14th. Precipitation ranged from 0.43 of an inch in the South Central district to 2.58 inches in the Northeast district. Soil temperature averages ranged from 53 degrees at Kenton on Friday, April 13th to 74 degrees at Durant on Tuesday, April 10th.