Weekend rainfall welcomed
Eastern Oklahoma saw significant rainfall from a storm during the week ending March 10, topping two inches in some areas, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, Oklahoma Field Office, March 11.
Snow continued to melt in western Oklahoma from the previous week's blizzard and parts of northwestern Oklahoma received additional precipitation of an inch or more. The state averaged 0.74 of an inch of precipitation for the week, with the Southeast district averaging 1.89 inches. The rainfall and snow from the past few weeks have improved wheat and canola conditions, but 41 percent of wheat and 53 percent of canola was rated poor to very poor.
The U.S. Drought Monitor from March 7 showed improvement in Beaver and Texas counties, with some areas moving from D-4 drought down to D-3. Overall, the state was still in a severe to exceptional drought, with 9.54 percent of the state rated as exceptional (D-4) drought, down from 11.8 percent the week prior. The worst drought conditions continue to be in the Panhandle and southwestern Oklahoma. Topsoil moisture conditions continued to be rated mostly adequate, but the percentage rated short increased from the previous week. Subsoil moisture conditions were still rated mostly short to very short with 12 percent of the state rated as adequate. There were only 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork on average across the state, due to the rainfall and melting snow.
Condition ratings for all small grains and canola continued to improve. Wheat and canola were rated mostly fair to poor, while rye and oats were rated mostly good to fair. Wheat jointing was 21 percent complete by March 10, 16 points behind this time last year, but four points ahead of the five-year average. Rye jointing was 27 percent complete, also significantly behind last year, but six points ahead of normal progress. Oat planting continued with spring oats and was 72 percent complete by the end of the week.
Only a little progress was made with row crop seedbed preparation this past week, and was behind normal for several crops. Corn seedbed preparation was 28 percent complete and sorghum seedbed preparation was 16 percent complete by March 10. Soybean seedbed preparation was ten percent complete by week's end, while seedbed preparation of cotton was 25 percent complete.
Conditions of pasture and range continued to be rated mostly poor to very poor. The limited availability of grasses continued to be a concern for livestock producers. Stock pond levels improved slightly from recent rainfall. Livestock conditions were still rated mostly good to fair as operators continued to supplement and feed hay to herds.