Snow brings needed moisture
For February 2013 snow brought much needed moisture throughout the state at the end of the month, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Kansas Field Office.
All 53 stations received trace amounts of moisture, with Johnson reporting 0.19 inch for the lowest and Lawrence reporting 2.69 inches for the highest. Temperatures varied widely during the month with a low of -4 degrees at Alton to a high of 73 in Ashland. There were 11.6 days suitable for field work, compared to 14 days a year ago. Topsoil moisture supplies as of February 24 were rated 27 percent very short, 34 percent short, 36 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus; a slight improvement from the beginning of the month. While improving somewhat, the Northwest District is still the driest district with 78 percent reported being short to very short for topsoil moisture, compared to 97 percent a month ago.
Welcomed precipitation in most areas slightly improved the condition of winter wheat during February. The crop condition was rated 12 percent very poor, 24 percent poor, 41 percent fair, 22 percent good, and 1 percent excellent. Wind damage was rated as 1 percent severe, 3 percent moderate, 13 percent light, and 83 percent with no damage, while freeze damage was rated as 1 percent severe, 3 percent moderate, 10 percent light, and 86 percent with no damage.
The range and pasture condition was rated at 53 percent very poor, 30 percent poor, 15 percent fair, and 2 percent good. Feed grain supplies in Kansas were rated at 22 percent very short, 25 percent short, 52 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus, while hay and forage supplies were rated at 35percent very short, 37 percent short, 27 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. The stock water supplies declined to 48 percent very short, 30 percent short, and 22 percent adequate. The precipitation was welcomed to start replenishment of stock water supplies, especially with the beginning of spring calving season upon us. Operators are hopeful the recent moisture will help improve grass conditions since they have been stretching their stored feed supplies.
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