Light rain provides little relief
A cold front and general rain came through the state over the weekend, bringing a statewide average of half an inch of rainfall during the week ending Nov. 11, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Oklahoma Field Office, Nov. 13.
The Panhandle received almost no rainfall while the Northeast district received almost an inch on average. Wind gusts ahead of the front on Nov. 10 were recorded by Mesonet as high as 67 mph in Kenton and over 60 mph throughout the Panhandle and northwest Oklahoma. Sustained winds over 45 mph and as high as 50 mph in Kenton were recorded as well. The wind and abnormally warm temperatures continued to affect the small grains and canola trying to emerge. Overall, crop conditions continued to fall and much more rainfall was needed to reverse that trend. The condition of small grains has dampened producer's hopes for winter grazing. Stock pond levels remain low and hay production made very little progress. Both topsoil and subsoil moisture conditions continued to be rated poor to very poor. There were 6.6 days suitable for fieldwork.
Conditions of small grains continued to drop and both wheat and rye were rated mostly fair to poor. Wheat planting was virtually complete by the end of the week and 82 percent of the crop had emerged. Oat seedbed preparation was 85 percent complete and 47 percent had been planted. Forty percent of oats had emerged, seven points behind normal.
Canola conditions were rated mostly fair, a decline from the previous week. Ninety four percent of the crop had emerged by week's end.
Harvest continued well ahead of normal for sorghum, cotton and soybeans. The sorghum harvest was 95 percent complete by Nov. 11, thirty points ahead of normal. Soybeans in the mature stage reached 96 percent complete, and 78 percent had been harvested by Nov. 11, 12 points ahead of normal. Digging of peanuts was 92 percent complete, and 79 percent were combined by the end of the week, just behind the five-year average. Harvest of cotton was 74 percent complete by week's end, 26 points ahead of normal.
The fourth cutting of alfalfa was 78 percent complete by the end of the week. The second cutting of other hay was 74 percent complete, 11 points behind normal, but 15 points ahead of last year's progress.
Conditions of pasture and range continued to be rated mostly poor to very poor. Rains were generally insufficient to provide run-off and water for livestock continued to be a concern for producers. Livestock conditions were still rated mostly good to fair as operators continued to supplement and feed hay to herds. Prices for feeder steers less than 800 pounds averaged $145 per cwt. Prices for heifers less than 800 pounds averaged $135 per cwt.