Below normal precip hurts crop conditions
For the month of January 2013, temperatures averaged near normal while precipitation was well below normal across most of the state, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office.
Precipitation was light during January with most areas receiving less than a quarter of an inch of moisture, and at the end of the month, most of the state was free of snow cover. Topsoil moisture supplies were rated as short to very short across most of the state, largely unchanged from last month. Wheat condition continued well below year ago levels with most of the crop rated fair to poor. Cattle are in mostly good condition with the first calves of the season being born. Cattle have made good use of stalks where available.
Below normal precipitation fell during January across most of the state. This resulted in little or no snow cover at the end of January. The greatest amounts of precipitation in the form of rain and snow fell across Northwestern and Southeastern border counties, but accumulations amounted to little more than .50 inch of moisture.
Temperatures averaged 2 to 3 degrees below normal for the western half of the state and up to 3 degrees above for portions of the eastern half. During the last week of the month, soil temperatures ranged from 26 to 33 degrees, below year ago levels.
Wheat conditions statewide rated 15 percent very poor, 35 percent poor, 42 percent fair, 8 percent good, and 0 percent excellent, well below last year. Hay and forage supplies rated 23 percent very short, 31 percent short, 46 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus, well below year ago levels.
Cattle and calves condition rated 0 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 23 percent fair, 68 percent good, and 7 percent excellent, below last year. Cows that have calved since Jan. 1, was 5 percent.