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    April 30, 2012

    Oklahoma: Record Heat and Isolated Heavy Rainfall

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    From USDA

    Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending April 29, 2012

    Above average temperatures and wind continued to dry out the soil, especially in the Panhandle, where extreme drought conditions were still present. Wheat continued to develop ahead of normal with the high temperatures, and limited subsoil moisture from the past year remained a concern. Record-setting temperatures were reached Wednesday, with two Mesonet stations, Erick and Altus, recording 105 degree temperatures. That was an all-time state record for April 25th, and tied the second highest temperature ever recorded for the whole month of April.

    Storms brought needed moisture for some over the weekend, and too much moisture in the form of flooding for others. Heavy rains were isolated in north central Oklahoma, while much of the southern half of Oklahoma received very little rainfall. Blackwell Mesonet measured 7.23 inches for the week, almost all of which came on Sunday. Hail was also reported in Osage County. Severe weather throughout the past month has led to reports of hail damage and wheat laying down. Topsoil and subsoil moisture conditions were rated mostly adequate. The percentage rated as surplus topsoil moisture increased, due to the flooding. There were 6.2 days suitable for field work.

    Small Grains: Conditions continued to be rated mostly good for all small grains, and all stages were ahead of normal. Wheat heading was 97 percent complete by the end of the week, 17 points ahead of last year and 33 points ahead of normal. Forty-one percent of the crop had reached the soft dough stage of development, far in advance of the five-year average The canola crop was 41 percent mature by Sunday, just four points ahead of the last year’s crop. Rye heading was 95 percent complete, and 44 percent was in the soft dough stage by the end of the week. Oat jointing was 89 percent complete and 41 percent was headed by Sunday, 21 points ahead of normal.

    Row Crops: Planting was underway for all row crops. Corn planting reached 68 percent complete by the end of the week, and 40 percent had emerged. Sorghum seedbed preparation was 68 percent complete, and 12 percent was planted by Sunday, even with the five-year average. Preparation of soybean seedbeds was 62 percent complete by week’s end, with 11 percent planted. Peanut seedbed preparation was 72 percent complete, and 14 percent of the crop was planted by week’s end, five points ahead of normal. Cotton seedbed preparation was 82 percent complete, and a small portion was planted by Sunday. Watermelon planting was 57 percent complete by the end of the week, 23 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 59 percent complete by the end of the week; a first cutting of other hay was 29 percent complete, both well ahead of normal.

    Pasture and Livestock: Pasture and range conditions continued to be rated mostly good to fair. Livestock conditions continued to be rated mostly good. Prices for feeder steers less than 800 pounds averaged $155 per cwt. Prices for heifers less than 800 pounds averaged $143 per cwt.

    Weather: Temperatures ranged from 34 degrees at Breckinridge and Lake Carl Blackwell on Monday, April 23rd, to 105 degrees at Altus and Erick on Wednesday, April 25th. Precipitation ranged from less than one hundredth of an inch in the Southeast district to 2.62 inches in the North Central district. Soil temperature averages ranged from 58 degrees at Foraker and Freedom on Monday, April 23rd, to 81 degrees at Burneyville on Saturday, April 28th.

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