For the week ending May 22, most areas of Kansas received some rain along with below average temperatures, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Kansas Field Office, on May 23. The rain was heavy in a few areas of the North Central District and in many areas of the eastern part of the state was accompanied by hail, damaging winds and a few tornados. A majority of the stations received over an inch of rain last week, with the North Central, East Central and Southeast Districts having the largest totals. Concordia led the state with 5.45 inches, followed by Belleville with 4.46 inches, Alton with 3.94 inches, and Beloit with 3.09, all in the North Central District. In contrast, 13 of the 52 stations received less than half an inch of precipitation, which included all but one of the stations in the Southwest and West Central Districts and two stations in the South Central District. Cooler temperatures early in the week warmed up by the weekend but on average were below normal for most of the State.
Highs ranged from the mid 70s to 93 degrees in Ashland, while low temperatures ranged from the mid 40s down to 29 degrees in Alton and Tribune. Overall, 5 stations had lows below the freezing mark last week. Farmers had an average of 4.5 days suitable for field work last week, with the West Central and Southwest Districts reporting 6.1 days each. Topsoil moisture supplies improved in all but the West Central and Southwest Districts and were rated at 23 percent very short, 22 percent short, 45 percent adequate, and 10 percent surplus. Topsoil in the Southwest District was 100 percent short to very short, followed by the West Central at 85 percent and the South Central at 81 percent short to very short. Topsoil moisture in the North Central District was 92 percent adequate to surplus, a 45 percent improvement from a week earlier. The subsoil moisture supplies were rated 25 percent very short, 27 percent short, 43 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus. Farmers' primary activities included planting row crops, irrigating fields, managing disease in wheat, and harvesting alfalfa hay.
The moisture last week brought a stabilizing effect to the winter wheat condition which continues to be poor but did not worsen at 25 percent very poor, 30 percent poor, 30 percent fair, 14 percent good, and 1 percent excellent. Eighty-five percent of the crop has headed, advancing 21 points from the previous week, and ahead of last year's 79 percent and the 5-year average of 83 percent. Five percent of the wheat has turned color, mostly in South Central Kansas, compared to 3 percent in 2010 and 6 percent for the 5-year average. Insect damage increased slightly to 2 percent moderate and 10 percent light, whereas disease damage improved slightly to 3 percent moderate and 14 percent light. Soybean planting progress increased 16 points last week, followed by cotton with a 13 point increase, corn with a 9 point increase and sorghum with an 8 point increase. Corn planting reached 93 percent complete by Sunday, barely ahead of both last year at 91 percent and the 5-year average of 92 percent. Sixty-two percent of the crop has emerged, ahead the previous year at 60 percent but behind the 5-year average of 63 percent. At this early stage the condition of the corn crop was rated 3 percent poor, 39 percent fair, 52 percent good, and 6 percent excellent. Soybean growers have really taken advantage of the favorable planting conditions and had planted 46 percent of their crop by Sunday, well ahead of both last year at 28 percent and the 5-year average of 34 percent. Thirteen percent of the crop has emerged, ahead of 2010 at 11 percent and the 5-year average of 10 percent. Seventeen percent of the sorghum has been planted, ahead of both last year at 11 percent and the 5-year average at 16 percent. Four percent of the crop has emerged, compared to 5 percent for both the previous year and the 5-year average. Cotton farmers have 23 percent of their crop planted, ahead of last year at 8 percent and the 5-year average of 17 percent. Sunflowers are 4 percent planted, compared to 2 percent in 2010 and 7 percent for the 5-year average. The first cutting of alfalfa was 40 percent complete, ahead of 31 percent in 2010 and 37 percent the 5-year average. The infestation of weevils and aphids continue to be a problem as producers continue to spray alfalfa fields.
Range and pasture condition remained unfavorable despite the rain last week and was rated at 16 percent very poor, 20 percent poor, 31 percent fair, 30 percent good, and 3 percent excellent. Feed grain supplies in Kansas were rated at 4 percent very short, 10 percent short, 82 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus. Hay and forage supplies declined to 6 percent very short, 19 percent short, 72 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus. Stock water supplies improved slightly last week and were 7 percent very short, 16 percent short, 72 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus. Livestock producers in the dry areas in the west continue to cull herds to ensure that the pastures can support the cattle throughout the summer. Some stock water ponds are still low requiring producers to haul water to livestock.
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