Most areas of the state experienced below freezing temperatures Oct. 2, which should accelerate the harvest for many row crops, says the Oklahoma Agricultural Statistics Service Oct. 11.

The lowest temperature recorded was 22.2 degrees, at the El Reno and Foraker stations.

Light, scattered rainfall was received in all districts, except for the west central district last week, but more moisture is needed statewide.

Fall planting continued to be slowed in most areas and many small grains continued to be dry seeded. However, those areas that received moisture from the rains could benefit and make good planting progress this week.

Farmers had 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the week.

Planting of fall small grains remained slowed, as a result of the prolonged dry conditions; however, many growers were continuing to dust in the crops. Rain is particularly needed in the southern and western portions of the state before wheat planting can begin at full pace. wheat seeding progressed to 31% planted, well behind the five-year average of 54%. Farmers are hoping for future rains to properly emerge the fields that have been dusted in.

Corn growers were busy last week trying to complete harvest. As of Oct. 8, only 5% remained unharvested, well ahead of the five-year average.

Sorghum conditions remained varied across the state, but is rated in mostly fair or poor condition overall.

Soybean harvest progressed slowly last week and 57% of the crop had been harvested. Proper pod development remains a concern for soybean producers.

Peanuts were in mostly fair condition, but the recent frost and cooler nights are hampering the maturity process. Excellent progress was made on digging and combining of peanuts and had totaled 28 and 19%, respectively, by week's end.

The majority of cotton has opened bolls and harvest was 32% complete by the end of the week. This blistering pace is 20% ahead of the five-year average. Cotton yields have been reported as highly variable.

Alfalfa and all other hay were in mostly fair condition. The fourth cutting of alfalfa continued last week and totaled 85% complete, while the fifth cutting of alfalfa was 45% cut by week's end.

Recent rainfall has done little to rejuvenate pasture growth and conditions remained mostly poor statewide. Pasture conditions in the southern districts continue to be the most adversely affected by the dry conditions. Supplemental feeding continued and cattle are consuming hay that would not be fed until winter months.

Livestock remained in mostly good to fair condition statewide.

Water available for livestock continued to be depleted statewide and hauling water in critical areas was necessary.

Some cattle producers continued to liquidate portions of their herds and future culling remains a strong possibility given the current conditions and prospects for future improvement.

Cattle auctions reported slightly above average marketings for the week. Prices for all feeder steers less than 800 pounds averaged 50 cents to nearly $1 per cwt. lower than the preceding week.

Cooler temperatures have lowered insect activity on cattle.

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