Limited rainfall, limited planting
Rainfall averages in most climate districts were less than half an inch during the week ending Sept. 9, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Oklahoma Field Office, Sept. 10.
However, a few places in the West Central district received over an inch of rain, including Putnam, Butler and Fairview. Wheat planting began in very limited areas, while seedbed preparation was still significantly behind normal. A cold front moved through Oklahoma, although it did not bring rain for everyone, it significantly dropped temperatures. Oklahoma City had a record high temperature for Sept. 7 of 105 degrees, and only two days later a record minimum temperature for Sept. 9 at 50 degrees. Conditions of row crops and hay showed no significant improvements. Half of the corn and a quarter of the sorghum were harvested by the end of the week. Topsoil and subsoil moisture conditions fell again, rated mostly very short. There were 6.3 days suitable for field work.
Seedbed preparation for small grains and canola was behind normal, despite significant progress this past week. A small portion of wheat and rye planting began. Wheat seedbed preparation was 47 percent complete, 16 points behind normal. Rye seedbed preparation was 41 percent complete, 21 points behind the five-year average. Thirty-nine percent of oat seedbed preparation was complete by week's end, nine points behind the five-year average. Seedbed preparation was complete on 49 percent of canola fields by Sept. 9, just 13 points behind last year's progress.
Conditions for corn and sorghum were rated mostly fair to poor, while cotton and soybeans were rated mostly poor to very poor. Corn dent was virtually complete and 81 percent was mature by Sept. 9, 12 points ahead of normal. The corn harvest was halfway completed by the end of the week, 12 points ahead of the five-year average. Sorghum headed reached 88 percent complete and 67 percent of the crop was coloring, 12 points ahead of normal. Sorghum mature reached 41 percent complete by week's end, and one quarter of the sorghum crop was harvested, 20 points ahead of a normal year. Soybeans blooming reached 93 percent complete and 74 percent of the crop was setting pods by Sept. 9. Soybean plants reported as mature reached eight percent by the end of the week. Ninety-five percent of peanuts were setting pods by Sept. 9, and 27 percent of the crop was mature. Eighty-three percent of cotton plants were setting bolls by the end of the week and 26 percent had bolls opening. The watermelon harvest was virtually complete by week's end, just ahead of the five-year average.
Hay conditions continued to be rated mostly poor to very poor. The third cutting of alfalfa was 92 percent complete and a fourth cutting of alfalfa was 40 percent complete by Sept. 9, 28 points behind normal. The second cutting of other hay reached 58 percent complete, even with the five-year average.
Conditions of pasture and range continued to be rated mostly poor to very poor. Livestock operators continued to supplement feed and hay their herds due to the lack of good pasture. Livestock conditions were rated mostly good to fair. Prices for feeder steers less than 800 pounds averaged $144 per cwt. Prices for heifers less than 800 pounds averaged $135 per cwt.