Oklahoma: Crops Continue to Thrive
Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending April 22, 2012
Most of the week was clear with average highs in the low 70s. Small grains and canola continued to thrive amid spring temperatures and replenished soil moisture from the previous week’s rain. Heading of wheat and rye was nearing completion, and over a third of the canola crop was reported as mature. Some wheat has been cut for hay, as have other forages and over a third of alfalfa acres. Planting of sorghum, soybeans and peanuts began, and corn emerged was ahead of normal. Most of northwestern Oklahoma was without significant rainfall last week and the average rainfall for the state was only 0.2 of an inch. The highest rainfall totals fell in central and eastern Oklahoma. One storm system brought hail across Caddo, Grady and McClain counties on Thursday. Subsoil moisture condition ratings continued to show improvement: 64 percent was rated adequate to surplus. Topsoil moisture conditions continued to have 83 percent ranked adequate or better. There were 5.0 days suitable for field work.
Small Grains: Conditions continued to be rated mostly good for all small grains and canola; three-quarters or more of each crop was rated good to excellent. Progress continued to outpace the five-year average with soft dough development observed in wheat and rye. Wheat heading was 89 percent complete by the end of the week, 30 points ahead of last year and 51 points ahead of the five-year average. Fifteen percent of the crop had reached the soft dough stage of development. The canola crop was 36 percent mature by Sunday, 14 points ahead of the previous year’s crop. Rye heading was 94 percent complete, and 15 percent was in the soft dough stage by the end of the week. Oat jointing was 80 percent complete and 32 percent was headed by Sunday, 24 points ahead of normal.
Row Crops: Field activities for row crops picked up after the heavy rains from the week prior. Planting began for sorghum, soybeans and peanuts in limited areas. Corn planting reached 62 percent complete by the end of the week, and 29 percent had emerged, 16 points ahead of last year and 10 points ahead of normal. Sorghum seedbed preparation was 67 percent complete, and six percent was planted by Sunday. Preparation of soybean seedbeds was 50 percent complete by week’s end, with five percent planted, on track with the five-year average. Peanut seedbed preparation was 62 percent complete, slightly behind normal, and five percent of the crop was planted. Cotton seedbed preparation reached 80 percent complete. Watermelon planting was 47 percent complete by the end of the week, 30 points ahead of the five-year average.
Hay: Conditions for both alfalfa and other hay were rated mostly good. A first cutting of alfalfa hay was 36 percent complete by the end of the week; a first cutting of other hay was 18 percent complete.
Pasture and Livestock: Pasture and range conditions continued improve with 47 percent rated good. Forage availability continued to improve with recent rainfall, and livestock pond levels have also improved. Livestock conditions continued to be rated mostly good. Prices for feeder steers less than 800 pounds averaged $160 per cwt. Prices for heifers less than 800 pounds averaged $144 per cwt.
Weather: Temperatures ranged from 32 degrees at Boise City on Monday, April 16th, to 90 degrees at Tipton on Thursday, April 19th. Precipitation ranged from less than one hundredth of an inch in the North Central district to 0.38 of an inch in the Central district. Soil temperature averages ranged from 52 degrees at Kenton on Monday, April 16th, to 73 degrees at Grandfield and Burneyville on Thursday, April 19th.
By the time this year’s fall-born calves are being weaned, the cattle industry will be looking at prices 5% to 15% lower than they are today — think somewhere between