Although the thermometer may not be cooperative, the calendar has begun pushing hard toward spring. While some southern states are half done or more with corn planting, Corn Belt farmers may think about field work later in the week as soils dry where they have been wet, snowy, or both.
With the resumption of spring, where is soil moisture and how is the winter wheat crop that should be coming out of dormancy? So many questions.
At the outset of April, several states have begun to report soil moisture conditions and other phenomena in preparation for planting.
The data includes conditions of winter wheat, which is also summarized, but currently stands at 30 percent poor to very poor, with 36 percent fair, and 34 percent good to excellent. The final national progress report in 2012 showed winter wheat at 33 percent good to excellent, 41 percent Fair and 26 percent poor to very poor. For the 2013 wheat crop to develop there will need to be quite favorable weather.
The cold weather continued throughout the state last week with the average temperature being almost 7 degrees below normal at 39.2 degrees. Soil moisture levels continued to improve last week as the heavy snow from the previous weekend slowly melted. As a result of the weather patterns the past month soil temperatures have not reached the required level for planting and soil moisture levels across the state are too wet for planting also. Topsoil moisture was rated at 1 percent very short, 5 percent short, 72 percent adequate, and 22 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated at 6 percent very short, 23 percent short, 64 percent adequate, and 7 percent surplus. Winter wheat is starting to come out of dormancy with reports of some yellowing in fields needing warmer weather. Winter wheat conditions were rated at 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 27 percent fair, 59 percent good, and 9 percent excellent.
For the week ending March 31, precipitation was limited to Southeastern areas of Kansas and a few isolated spots in Western portions of the State,. For last week, average temperatures were again below normal but warmed by the weekend allowing farmers to continue spring planting preparation. Additional precipitation is still needed throughout the state to replenish soil moisture and stock ponds. Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 16 percent very short, 30 percent short, 50 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus. Kansas subsoil moisture supplies were rated 41 percent very short, 40 percent short, 18 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. The Kansas winter wheat crop was 13 percent jointed, behind 57 percent a year ago and 22 percent average. The condition of the crop was rated as 10 percent very poor, 19 percent poor, 40 percent fair, 29 percent good, and 2 percent excellent.