Row crop harvest advances
Row crop harvest advanced again during the week ending Oct. 7 with soybean harvest near completion, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, South Dakota Field Office, Oct. 9.
There were 6.9 days suitable for field work this past week. Major activities last week included harvesting row crops, planting winter wheat, moving cattle to stubble fields and caring for livestock.
Light showers teased parts of the state over the weekend providing enough precipitation to settle the dust in a few areas, but make no significant dent in the growing season precipitation deficits, nor slow the harvest pace, according to the State Climate Office of South Dakota. Windier conditions statewide and a final hard freeze statewide were the other main issues of the week.
Precipitation was fairly widespread. But the totals were still fairly limited. More than half the state received some precipitation during the week. Areas of the Black Hills and northwest received the most. Custer reported the most precipitation at 0.59 inches. Fifteen stations reported no precipitation. The lack of precipitation continues to limit soil moisture recovery for next year's growing season and fall seeding of winter wheat and cover crops. The US Drought Monitor increased the areas in D3 and D4 (the highest levels of drought) in western areas of the state in response to this combination of conditions.
Cooler air masses dropped average temperatures for the week. Average temperatures were in the 40s except for a few southern locations. All locations were below average, generally from 3 to 8 degrees below the 30 year averages. The highest temperature reported was 90 F at Philip. Many stations had lows falling into the teens. The lowest reported was 14 F at Aberdeen and Highmore. GDD accumulations are no longer being reported because of the end of the growing season.
Soil temperatures were mainly in the 50s across southern parts of the state and in the upper 40s in the northern parts of the state. Bowdle and South Shore had the low 4 inch soil temperature at 49 F; Oacoma was the warmest at 60 F.
Topsoil moisture was rated at 5 percent adequate, 18 percent short and 77 percent very short. Subsoil moisture was rated at 7 percent adequate, 20 percent short and 73 percent very short.
Seventy-eight percent of corn for grain has been harvested, up from 55 percent from the previous week; still well ahead of the five year average of 12 percent. Soybeans harvested were at 94 percent, up from 79 percent the previous week; well ahead of the five year average of 43 percent. Sixty-four percent of sorghum for grain has been harvested, up from 55percent harvested the previous week. Ninety-five percent of sunflowers were mature with 26 percent harvested. Winter wheat was 67 percent planted, behind last year and five year averages of 78 percent and 82 percent, respectively. Eight percent of winter wheat had emerged, behind last year's estimate of 40 percent and the five year average of 49 percent emerged.
Cattle conditions were rated at 65 percent good to excellent, 30 percent fair and 5 percent poor. Sheep conditions were rated at 74 percent good to excellent condition, 21 percent fair and 5 percent poor. Stock water supplies were rated at 38 percent very short, 39 percent short and 23 percent adequate. Feed supplies were rated at 18 percent very short, 41 percent short and 41 percent adequate to surplus. Range and pasture conditions were rated at 43 percent very poor, 36 percent poor, 18 percent fair and 3 percent good.