Weather slows fieldwork, delays forage growth oklahoma
Severe weather cut a path from southwestern to northeastern Oklahoma late April 17 and early April 18, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Oklahoma Field Office, April 22.
Hail was observed all along the storm’s path and at least 10 tornadoes were reported, including an EF-2 in Delaware County. Heavy rains fell, resulting in localized flooding, notably at Medicine Park where 6.63 inches of rain were recorded. Cooler than normal temperatures continued, delaying forage growth and slowing field work. The damage to small grains from multiple freeze events was still being assessed. Precipitation for the state averaged 0.98 of an inch for the week, but was concentrated along the storm’s path, leaving much of the state with totals of less than half an inch. The Central, East Central and Southeast districts have rain totals above normal for the period since March 1, while the Panhandle has received only 30 percent of normal moisture for the same period.
Topsoil moisture conditions continued to be rated mostly adequate. Subsoil moisture conditions were rated mostly short to very short, but 28 percent was now rated as adequate. There were only 4.5 days suitable for fieldwork.
Small grain development was significantly behind normal, while conditions continued to be rated mostly good to fair. Wheat jointing was 86 percent complete by April 21, while only five percent was headed, compared to 87 percent last year and a five-year average of 43 percent. Rye jointing was 93 percent complete, and 28 percent had headed by week’s end, 35 points below the five-year average. Oat planting was winding down at 97 percent complete by the end of the week. One third of the oats were jointing, 28 points behind normal progress.
Canola was rated mostly good to fair with 43 percent rated poor to very poor. Canola blooming was 76 percent complete by the end of the week, compared to 100 percent of canola blooming at this time last year.
Fieldwork continued where conditions allowed. Corn seedbed preparation was 87 percent complete by the end of the week. Corn planting was 27 percent complete by April 21, and ten percent was emerged. Sorghum seedbed preparation was 54 percent complete, and soybean seedbed preparation was 37 percent complete by week’s end. Peanut seedbed preparation was 58 percent complete, and cotton seedbed preparation was 59 percent complete, 13 points behind normal.
Watermelon planting had begun and was 21 percent complete by the end of the week, 21 points behind this week last year, but six points ahead of the five-year average.
Conditions of pasture and range improved slightly, and were rated mostly fair to poor. Recent rainfall allowed for improvements to soil moisture, especially in the eastern half of the state. However, cooler temperatures continued to limit forage development. Livestock conditions continued to be rated mostly good to fair.