Nebraska

Temperatures for the week ending April 7 averaged near normals for the entire state.

Precipitation was light across the state, with amounts ranging from traces to 0.2 inch.

Spring planting preparations continued across the state this past week, according to the Nebraska Agricultural Statistics Service.

Sugar beet planting was underway.

A fee producers were starting to plant corn.

Reports indicate that moisture will be needed to germinate seeds in some cases, and continue growth and development in all cases.

The threat of range fires was a concern, with 5,000 acres burned in one central county blaze.

Other producer activities included branding and working calves, field tillage and fertilizer applications.

Winter wheat crop was rated 5% very poor, 13% poor, 34% fair, 42% good and 6% excellent. As of April 9, 6% of the crop had jointed. Additional moisture will be needed to ensure proper growth and development; subsoil supplies were limited in many southern counties.

Oat planting progressed to 83% complete, as of April 9. This was well ahead of 55% last year and 35% for the five-year average. Fields were 21% emerged, but dry topsoil conditions were slowing the process. This compared to 14% emerged last year and 5% average. Condition of the emerged stands declined and rated 28% poor, 40% fair and 32% good.

Pasture and range condition was rated 12% very poor, 25% poor, 45% fair, 17% good and 1% excellent.

Calving was 83% complete to date. Last year at this time, 76% of the state's cow herd had calved.

As pastures begin the spring growth, some cattle were being moved to pastures. Producers were branding and working calves as weather permitted.

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