Kansas producers experienced relentless heat and wind during the week ending June 24, while significant rainfall was only seen in the eastern half of the state, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service, June 25.
Of the 53 stations, 27 received less than one-half inch of rain with fifteen of those stations not receiving any rain, most of these in the western third of the state. In contrast, Winfield, at 0.24 inch, was the only station in the eastern third of the state to receive less than one-half inch. Baileyville, Manhattan, and Valley Falls, all in the Northeast District, reported the most precipitation at 3.13 inches, 2.27 inches, and 2.05 inches, respectively.
Weekly high temperatures reached 100 degrees or hotter at 22 stations as highs ranged from 91 degrees to a scorching 111 degrees at Hill City and Healy. All of the stations that recorded triple-digit heat received less than a quarter-inch of rain for the week. In fact, Hill City would normally receive nearly 11 inches of rain by now, but had only received 4.5 inches or about 41 percent of normal.
With weekly average temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to mid-80s across Kansas, all stations recorded above normal temperatures. Producers averaged 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork last week with the Northwest and West Central Districts having all seven days suitable. With topsoil moisture supplies worsening in the western half of the state and improving in the eastern half, topsoil moisture for the state was relatively unchanged as of June 24 and was rated at 23 percent very short, 40 percent short, 36 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. The Northwest and Southwest Districts were over 90 percent in the short to very short categories. Kansas subsoil moisture supplies were also relatively unchanged and were rated at 25 percent very short, 46 percent short, and 29 percent adequate. Row crops showed increased signs of stress from the heat and lack of rainfall as some producers finished wheat harvest.
Wheat harvest was nearly completed by June 24 with only 4 percent of the acreage left to be harvested, about three weeks ahead of 53 percent left last year and 72 percent left for the 5-year average. Farmers in the Northwest District were busy as 61 percent of their wheat was harvested last week. At least some of the corn crop had reached the silking stage in all districts as 26 percent of the state's acreage was silking at the end of last week, over a week ahead of last year at 3 percent and the 5-year average of 5 percent. A few fields are already in the dough stage especially in the Southeast District. The condition of the corn crop declined to 4 percent very poor, 13 percent poor, 43 percent fair, 36 percent good, and 4 percent excellent.
Soybean planting was nearing completion as 98 percent of the crop was in the ground by June 24. The crop was 92 percent emerged compared to 86 percent last year and 81 percent for the 5-year average. Five percent of the state's soybeans were already blooming by the end of the week. The condition of the crop declined slightly to 3 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 45 percent fair, 37 percent good, and 4 percent excellent.
The sorghum crop reached 95 percent planted last week, ahead of last year at 91 percent and the 5-year average of 87 percent. Eighty-one percent of the sorghum had emerged, ahead of both the previous year at 69 percent and 5-year average of 68 percent. There were even reports of sorghum fields that had headed already. The condition of the crop declined to 4 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 51 percent fair, 32 percent good, and 2 percent excellent.
Nineteen percent of the cotton crop was in the squaring stage by June 24, compared to 7 percent for both the previous year and 5-year average. The condition of the cotton crop improved slightly to 1 percent poor, 46 percent fair, 49 percent good, and 4 percent excellent. The sunflower crop continued to be planted ahead of normal and was 89 percent complete, ahead of 69 percent for the previous year and 72 percent for the 5-year average. The crop was 79 percent emerged, well ahead of 47 percent the previous year and 49 percent for the 5-year average. There were some reports of sunflowers already blooming. The condition of the sunflower crop declined to 4 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 53 percent fair, 29 percent good, and 4 percent excellent.
Alfalfa continued to be cut well ahead of normal with 84 percent of the second cutting complete, compared to 30 percent for both last year and the 5-year average. Nine percent of the alfalfa had received a third cutting, which is unusual for this early in the year.
The condition of Kansas range and pasture continued to decline last week and was rated at 20 percent very poor, 33 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 11 percent good, and 1 percent excellent. Hay and forage supplies was unchanged at 14 percent very short, 24 percent short, 60 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. Stock water supplies declined to 13 percent very short, 26 percent short, 60 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. With pasture land failing to maintain regrowth, cattle producers were feeding hay and hauling water to their herds.