Nebraska Weather and Crops
Agricultural Summary: For the week ending May 20, 2012, hot, dry, and windy conditions prevailed until showers moved across portions of eastern Nebraska late in the week, according to USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office. The above normal temperatures and winds have taken a toll on soil moisture levels, which continue well below last year and normal. Producers have started pivots to aid crop germination and to activate chemicals. Progress in planting spring crops continued ahead of average with corn near completion, soybeans near two weeks ahead of average, and half of the sorghum crop planted. Wheat was 81 percent headed, 19 days ahead of average. Progress of the first cutting of alfalfa was 3 weeks ahead of average. Proso millet and dry bean planting continued. The dry conditions have affected pastures as well, with poorest conditions in northern Panhandle counties.
Weather Summary: Temperatures averaged 3 degrees above normal in the west to 6 degrees above normal in the east. High temperatures ranged from the mid 90’s to lows of lower 30’s in the Panhandle. Precipitation fell across most areas of the state but accumulation varied widely. The Northeast District received the largest amounts with some locations recording over 1.5 inches of rain. The Panhandle has received near half of normal precipitation since the first of the year.
Field Crops Report: Corn planting neared completion at 98 percent complete, ahead of 91 last year and 92 average. Corn emerged stood at 78 percent, well ahead of 45 last year and 9 days ahead of 49 average. Corn conditions rated 2 percent poor, 20 fair, 71 good, and 7 excellent.
Soybean planting was 83 percent complete, ahead of 60 last year and 13 days ahead of 54 average. Soybeans emerged were 42 percent, ahead of 15 last year and 12 average.
Sorghum planting was 47 percent complete, ahead of 28 last year and 1 week ahead of 27 average. Sorghum emerged was 17 percent, ahead of 5 last year and 4 average.
Oats emerged were at 99 percent, well ahead of 82 last year and 93 average. Oats conditions rated 2 percent poor, 26 fair, 70 good, and 2 excellent.
Wheat headed was 81 percent, ahead of 6 last year and 19 days ahead of 11 average. The impact of hot and dry conditions and low temperatures on wheat in the Panhandle is being felt. Wheat conditions declined and rated 2 percent very poor, 6 poor, 32 fair, 52 good, and 8 excellent, above last year’s 52 percent good to excellent but below 64 average.
Dry beans planted were 24 percent complete, well ahead of 1 last year and 14 days ahead of 5 average.
Proso millet was 10 percent planted.
The first cutting of alfalfa was 58 percent complete, well ahead of 3 last year and 23 days ahead of 7 average. Concerns continued over insect activity. Alfalfa rated 1 percent very poor, 6 poor, 28 fair, 53 good, and 12 excellent, below 73 percent good to excellent last year and average.
Wild hay conditions rated 3 percent poor, 24 fair, 71 good, and 2 excellent, above last year’s 68 percent good to excellent.
Livestock, Pasture and Range Report: Pasture and range conditions declined and rated 1 percent very poor, 8 poor, 38 fair, 49 good, and 4 excellent, below last year’s 73 percent good to excellent and 72 average.
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