Limited moisture hinders wheat progress
Most areas of Kansas received limited moisture during the month of December 2012 with only 3 of the 53 stations reporting over 1 inch of precipitation, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Kansas Field Office.
The lightest amounts were in the south central where Hutchinson only received .07 inches. Most of the State did receive some snow during the last half of December.
The temperatures varied widely during the month with a low of -11 degrees at Colby to a high of 76 in Winfield. Topsoil moisture supplies declined during the month to 47 percent very short, 39 percent short, and 14 percent adequate. The Northwest District is still very dry with 79 percent reported in the short to very short for topsoil moisture. Finishing cotton harvest was the primary fieldwork.
For 2012, all 53 stations received below normal precipitation. Amounts ranged from a high of 41.37 inches at Pittsburg in the southeast to a low of 7.44 inches at Tribune in the west central. Departures from normal ranged from -17.63 inches in Ottawa to -4.42 in Johnson.
Limited moisture in most areas caused the condition the winter wheat to decline through December. The condition of the crop was rated 9 percent very poor, 22 percent poor, 45 percent fair, 23 percent good, and 1 percent excellent. Wind damage was rated as 1 percent severe, 5 percent moderate, 15 percent light, and 79 percent with no damage, while freeze damage was rated as 4 percent moderate, 11percent light, and 85 percent with no damage.
The range and pasture condition was rated 57 percent very poor, 27 percent poor, 14 percent fair, and 2 percent good. Feed grain supplies in Kansas were rated at 21 percent very short, 27 percent short, 50 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus, whereas hay and forage supplies were rated at 35 percent very short, 36 percent short, 28 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. The stock water supplies declined to 44 percent very short, 33 percent short, and 23 percent adequate. Livestock producers were grazing cattle on crop residue and supplement feeding. Due to the lack of precipitation producers are concerned about pasture conditions and low stock pond level.