Dry weather forces rapid row crop development
The dry weather during the week ending Sept. 9 forced row crops to rapidly advance into the mature stage, triggering the start of an early harvest, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, South Dakota Field Office, Sept. 10.
There were 6.8 days suitable for field work this past week. Major activities last week included beginning of row crop harvest, haying CRP acres, hauling water for livestock, early moving of cattle to stubble fields, caring for livestock.
Cooler conditions over the weekend balanced out warmer than average conditions early in the week over large parts of the state, leading to close to average temperatures statewide, according to the State Climate Office of South Dakota. Precipitation was again very limited. One storm event did bring heavier precipitation to east central South Dakota. The first patchy frost occurred over the week in north central to northeast parts of the state.
Temperatures overall were within a couple degrees of average except for the southeast, which was 3 to 5 degrees above average. A few stations did reach 100 F again. Academy, Onida, Pierreand Winner all reached 100 F for the weekly high. Many stations did fall into the 30s during the week. Faulkton and Kennebec had the lowest temperature at 34 F. Dry air is allowing larger temperature swings between highs and lows across the state.
Isolated areas had decent precipitation during the week. Wessington Springs and Mitchell both recorded over an inch with Wessington Springs the highest total at 1.35 inches. Thirty stations received less than 0.10 inches. The lowest totals were at twenty of the stations which received no precipitation during the week. The U.S. Drought Monitor increased the area covered by drought in the state as well as the drought levels. Most of the southern half of the state is in D3 (Extreme Drought) with an area of D4 (Exceptional Drought) in the southeast. The increase was due to continuing dry conditions and lack of precipitation which has led to the very poor grass conditions and crop losses.
Topsoil moisture was rated at 8 percent adequate, 29 percent short and 63 percent very short; compared to 67 percent very short the previous week. Subsoil moisture was rated at 7 percent adequate, 31 percent short and 62 percent very short.
Row crop harvest has begun for some areas of the state with corn harvested at 7 percent. Corn conditions remained steady from the previous week at 23 percent very poor, 28 percent poor, 28 percent fair and 21 percent good to excellent. Corn in the mature stage was at 45 percent this week. Eighty-nine percent of the corn silage has been cut, well ahead of the previous year and five year averages of 35 and 29 percent, respectively.
Soybean conditions also remained fairly steady with 15 percent very poor, 30 percent poor, 30 percent fair and 25 percent good to excellent. Soybeans dropping leaves was at 77 percent. Thirty-four percent of soybeans were rated mature compared to only 5 percent the previous week. Soybeans harvested were at 3 percent.
Sorghum, with 99 percent turning color, had 42 percent mature compared to 12 percent mature the previous week. Sorghum harvested was at 2 percent. Eighty-three percent of the sorghum silage has been cut, well ahead of the five year average of 24 percent.
Sunflowers were 77 percent in the ray flowers dry stage and 62 percent at the bracts yellow stage, with 5 percent harvested.
Cattle conditions saw a slight change with 65 percent good to excellent, 28 percent fair, and 7 percent poor. Sheep conditions were rated at 72 percent good to excellent condition, 22 percent fair and 6 percent poor. Stock water supplies were rated at 30 percent very short, 43 percent short and 27 percent adequate. Feed supplies were rated at 17 percent very short, 40 percent short and 43 percent adequate to surplus. Range and pasture conditions were rated at 40 percent very poor, 36 percent poor, 20 percent fair and 4 percent good