Temperatures for the five week period ending Dec. 31, 2004 were above normal for the state, according to the Wyoming Agricultural Statistics Service, Jan. 3.
Daytime temperatures reached the low 50s to mid 60s in many areas of the state. Snow was beginning to accumulate in mountain areas, but most areas had no snow cover. Average snow cover depth across the state was 1.8 inches, down 2.8 inches from last year at this time. Although most of the state had below normal precipitation, soil moisture slipped only slightly from a month ago. Topsoil moisture was rated adequate in 58 percent of the state, down 3 points from November 26. Last year at this time, only 49 percent was rated adequate and the 5-year average is 30 percent. Subsoil moisture was rated adequate in 39 percent of the state, compared with only 28 percent adequate last year and the average of 21 percent.
The 2004 winter Wheat crop remained in good condition during December. Ninety-three percent of the crop was in good or excellent condition at month's end. Last year at this time, only 43 percent of the crop was in good condition. About 95 percent of the acreage had no wind damage, with the remainder having only light damage. Also 92 percent of the acreage had no freeze damage, and the remainder had light damage.
Corn harvest continued to be well behind average pace. At the end of December, only 85 percent of the corn grain crop had been harvested, while harvest is typically completed by early December.
Hay and roughage supplies were rated adequate or surplus in 79 percent of the state, up 1 percent from last month but still worse than last year at this time when over 90 percent of the state had adequate or surplus supplies. Stock water supplies were rated short or very short in 56 percent of Wyoming, up 4 points from last year and up 6 points from last month. Cattle and sheep were rated in fair to mostly good condition at the end of December.