Some see freezing temperatures
During the week ending Oct. 7, most producers saw temperatures drop below freezing, along with mostly dry conditions, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Kansas Field Office, Oct. 9.
Forty-three of the 53 stations reported sub-freezing temperatures and 26 reported temperatures of 28 degrees or below. Average temperatures for the week ranged from 6 to 12 degrees below normal. Statewide, the weekly low was 21 degrees at Alton while the weekly high was 95 degrees at Atwood.
Only two stations received over a half inch of precipitation; Topeka with 0.70 inch and Atwood with 0.62 inch. Thirty-one of the 53 stations received less than 0.10 of an inch of precipitation, while the first snow was reported in some of the Northwestern counties. Kansas producers averaged 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork, with the western third of the state averaging less than 6 suitable working days.
The dry conditions brought a decline in topsoil moisture supplies to 37 percent very short, 35 percent short, 28 percent adequate, and none surplus; except in the Northwest District where there was a 6 percent improvement in the adequate to surplus ratings. Subsoil moisture supplies were at 51 percent very short, 36 percent short, 13 percent adequate, and none surplus. Corn, sorghum and soybean harvest progressed throughout the state while wheat seeding continued. Moisture is still needed to aid wheat emergence.
Kansas farmers seeded 25 percent of the state's wheat acreage last week to reach 65 percent complete by Oct. 7, ahead of 62 percent for last year and 61 percent for the 5-year average. More than 60 percent of the crop in the western two-thirds of Kansas is now planted. Twenty-five percent of the state's wheat had emerged by week's end, behind both last year at 29 percent and the 5-year average of 28 percent.
Farmers harvested 8 percent of the Kansas corn crop last week, reaching 82 percent complete by Oct. 7, two weeks ahead of 62 percent last year and over three weeks ahead of the 5-year average of 56 percent. Most of the unharvested corn was in western Kansas.
Seventy-nine percent of the soybean crop was dropping leaves, ahead of 77 percent last year but behind 81 percent for the 5-year average. Eleven percent of the Kansas soybean crop was harvested last week to reach 23 percent complete for the state. This is behind both last year at 35 percent and the 5-year average of 30 percent. The condition of the soybean crop was 30 percent very poor, 33 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 7 percent good, and 2 percent excellent.
Sorghum harvest reached 19 percent complete by Oct. 7, ahead of 12 percent last year and the 5-year average of 18 percent. Fifty-five percent of the crop was mature, ahead of last year at 49 percent but behind the 5-year average of 61 percent. Ninety-two percent of the crop was coloring, ahead of 90 percent last year but behind 95 percent for the 5-year average. The condition of the sorghum crop was 33 percent very poor, 34 percent poor, 24 percent fair, 8 percent good, and 1 percent excellent.
Four percent of the Kansas cotton crop had been harvested by Oct. 7, ahead of 1 percent a year ago. Eighty-four percent of the crop had bolls opening, well ahead of 63 percent last year and 65 percent for the 5-year average. The condition of the cotton crop was 10 percent very poor, 26 percent poor, 41 percent fair, 21 percent good, and 2 percent excellent.
Ninety-four percent of the sunflower crop had reached the ray flower dried stage, identical to last year but slightly ahead of the 5-year average of 93 percent. Eighty-eight percent of the crop had turned yellow, ahead of 86 percent last year and 82 percent for the 5-year average. Sixty-eight percent had turned brown by Oct. 7, identical to last year but well ahead of the 5-year average of 50 percent. Harvest reached 17 percent complete by Oct. 7, the same as last year but well ahead of 11 percent for the 5-year average. The condition of the sunflower crop was 19 percent very poor, 28 percent poor, 41 percent fair, 11 percent good, and 1 percent excellent. The fourth cutting of alfalfa reached 70 percent complete, just ahead of last year at 69 percent but behind the 5-year average of 80 percent.
Range and pasture conditions were 52 percent very poor, 30 percent poor, 15 percent fair, and 3 percent good, continuing the worst range and pasture condition trend since the series started in 1995. Hay and forage supplies held steady at 37 percent very short, 37 percent short, 25 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus; while stock water supplies were 40 percent very short, 30 percent short, 30 percent adequate, and none surplus. Significant rains are still needed to replenish stock ponds.