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Field crops need additional rainfall


Rainfall received during the week ending Oct. 24 was welcomed by producers across the state, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Oklahoma Field Office, Oct. 25.

All nine districts received rainfall with the Southwest district receiving the most precipitation at 2.65 inches. Average rainfall for the state was 1.35 inches, however, more precipitation is needed. Parts of Oklahoma are still experiencing moderate drought conditions. October has historically been the last hope for significant rain before dry and cold weather arrives. Average temperatures ranged in the low-to-mid sixties with maximum temperatures in the mid-to-upper seventies. Topsoil moisture conditions improved last week with six percent rated surplus as a result of recent rainfall. Subsoil moisture conditions were rated mostly in the adequate to short range, but more rain is needed to replenish moisture levels. There were 5.3 days suitable for field work.

Despite the need for additional rainfall, small grain crops remained mostly in good to fair condition. Wheat seeding increased ten points from the previous week to reach 88 percent complete, four points ahead of normal, while 68 percent of the state's wheat had emerged by Oct. 24. Virtually all rye had been planted by the end of the week and 90 percent had emerged, a 20 point increase from the previous week and one point ahead of the five-year average. Eighty-one percent of oat seedbeds were prepared by Oct. 24 while 46 percent of oats were planted and 37 percent had emerged, one point ahead of normal. Canola planting was 91 percent complete by Oct. 24, a six point increase from the previous week, and 78 percent of canola plants had emerged, a 23 point increase from the previous week.

Row crop harvest was temporarily halted in some areas due to rainfall. Ninety-six percent of grain sorghum had matured by Oct. 24, 23 points ahead of normal, and 55 percent of sorghum was harvested by week's end, 17 points ahead of normal. Seventy-nine percent of soybeans were mature by week's end and 51 percent of the crop had been harvested. Ninety-eight percent of the state's peanuts were mature by Oct. 24, four points ahead of normal, with 87 percent of the crop dug. Sixty-nine percent of the peanut crop was combined by Oct. 24, 26 points ahead of the five-year average. Cotton harvest was 33 percent complete by Oct. 24, 13 points ahead of the five-year average.

The second cutting of other hay was 91 percent complete by Oct. 24. Alfalfa fifth cutting was 77 percent complete and the sixth cutting reached 15 percent complete by week's end.

Pasture and range conditions showed limited improvement from the previous week, but remained mostly in the good to fair range. Fields are still in need of additional moisture for winter pasture. Livestock conditions rated mostly in the good to fair range with nine percent rated excellent. Prices for feeder steers less than 800 pounds averaged $109 per cwt. Prices for heifers less than 800 pounds averaged $100 per cwt.

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