Ideal weather conditions for row crop harvest
Weather conditions were ideal during the week ending Sept. 30 for row crop harvest pushing all harvested rates farther ahead of last year's average and the five-year averages, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, South Dakota Field Office, Oct. 1.
There were 7.0 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.
September brought to a close an interesting month climatologically, according to the State Climate Office of South Dakota. Drought conditions persisted with little recovery during the month. The very dry surface conditions have allowed large daily temperature swings. Despite overall warm conditions for the month, many locations statewide had average lows in the top 20 coldest of all time. The lack of moisture in the air is a large contributor allowing for large temperature ranges from day to night. The overall dry conditions continue to allow rapid harvest progress along with fire potential conditions.
Temperatures continued above-average across nearly the whole state with temperatures ranging from 1 to 11 degrees above average over most of the state, with just two stations in the east below average. Average temperatures were in the upper 50s to lower 60s. The highest temperature was at Milesville at 87 F. Centerville fell to the lowest temperature at 24 F.
The trend of limited precipitation continued this week with only ten stations reporting precipitation. The largest precipitation total for the week was at Philip at 0.22 inches. Thirty-three stations tied for the low with no precipitation reported during the week. Precipitation totals for the month were meager across the state. Much of the northwest to north central reported less than 0.10 inches for the month. The dry conditions allowed for increased severity on the US Drought Monitor. All of the state is in some form of drought currently and over half the state is in the D3 and D4, the highest levels of drought.
Soil conditions remained fairly constant last week. Topsoil moisture was rated at 5 percent adequate, 22 percent short and 73 percent very short. Subsoil moisture was rated at 6 percent adequate, 22 percent short and 72 percent very short.
Fifty-five percent of corn for grain has been harvested, up from the 36 percent from the previous week; still well ahead of the five year average of 6 percent. Corn in the mature stage was at 96 percent this week. Corn conditions were rated at 20 percent very poor, 25 percent poor, 29 percent fair and 26 percent good to excellent. Ninety-eight percent of soybeans were rated mature, ahead of the five year average of 60 percent. Soybeans harvested were at 79 percent, up from the 47 percent the previous week; well ahead of the five year average of 16 percent. Ninety-six percent of the sorghum was mature with 55 percent harvested. Sunflowers were 96 percent at the bracts yellow stage with 85 percent mature. Fourteen percent of sunflowers have been harvested; ahead of the five year average of 1 percent. Winter wheat was 50 percent planted, behind last year and five year averages of 67 percent and 70 percent, respectively. Five percent of winter wheat had emerged, behind last year's estimate of 22 percent and the five year average of 32 percent emerged.
Cattle conditions were rated at 66 percent good to excellent, 29 percent fair and 5 percent poor. Sheep conditions were rated at 72 percent good to excellent condition, 23 percent fair and 5 percent poor. Stock water supplies were rated at 38 percent very short, 38 percent short and 24 percent adequate. Feed supplies were rated at 20 percent very short, 37 percent short and 43 percent adequate to surplus. Range and pasture conditions were rated at 44 percent very poor, 34 percent poor, 19 percent fair and 3 percent good.