State gets more rain, severe storms
Rain was received throughout much of the state for the week ending May 22, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Oklahoma Field Office, on May 23. A total of 24 western Oklahoma counties were under a tornado watch Thursday evening, but no tornados were reported. There were reports of golf ball-sized hail in Tillman County. On Friday, Governor Fallin requested federal flood assistance for 10 eastern counties hit hard by severe storms and flooding in April. Counties included in the request were Adair, Cherokee, Delaware, Haskell, LeFlore, McIntosh, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Pittsburg, and Sequoyah. Although there was some damage caused by last week's storms, the much needed rain brought the state a step closer toward easing the drought conditions in some areas. Topsoil and subsoil moisture conditions improved significantly as a result of the rain and ten percent of topsoil and four percent of subsoil were rated surplus. There were 5.0 days suitable for fieldwork.
Despite the recent rainfall, condition ratings continue to be rated mostly poor to very poor for all small grains. Wheat in the soft dough stage reached 81 percent by Sunday, 11 points ahead of normal. Rye in the soft dough stage of development reached 82 percent complete by week's end, on target with the five-year average. Oats jointing was 93 percent complete and 75 percent of the crop was heading. Forty-two percent of the crop reached the soft dough stage by week's end. Canola in the mature stage reached 77 percent complete by week's end, up 12 points from the previous week.
Last week's rainfall improved field conditions in some areas and allowed row crop planting to continue. Corn planting was virtually complete by week's end and 58 percent of the crop had emerged by Sunday, 25 points behind normal. Sorghum seedbed preparation reached 86 percent complete and 35 percent was planted by week's end. Soybean seedbed preparation was 73 percent complete and 29 percent was planted by Sunday, up ten points from the previous week, but seven points behind normal. Peanuts planted reached 66 complete while 22 percent of the crop had emerged by week's end. Cotton planted was 15 percent complete by Sunday, 22 points behind normal.
Plantings of the 2011 watermelon crop were 94 percent complete by week's end, 18 points ahead of the five-year average.
Conditions were rated mostly in the fair to poor range with 21 percent of alfalfa and 23 percent of other hay rated very poor. First cuttings of alfalfa reached 65 percent complete, while first cuttings of other hay reached 27 percent complete by Sunday.
Conditions improved slightly as a result of recent rain received; however, additional rainfall is needed to combat the extremely dry conditions across the state. Pasture and range was rated mostly fair to poor with 16 percent rated very poor.
Prices for feeder steers less than 800 pounds averaged $132 per cwt. Prices for heifers less than 800 pounds averaged $123 per cwt. Livestock conditions were rated mostly in the good to fair range.