May 14, 2012
Planting Surges Ahead with Warm, Dry Conditions, Little Rain
Planting and crop development continued ahead of normal last week in Nebraska with good field conditions and limited precipitation. There was growing concern in some areas about the lack of rain. Topsoil moisture levels again dropped below average, causing some producers to start pivots, according to the May 14 Nebraska Weather and Crops report from the Nebraska Field Office of the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Wheat, which is almost three weeks ahead of normal, is entering grain development and using an inch of water a week. Areas of southeast Nebraska received the most rain, but it was limited to just 0.2 inch.
- Corn planting advanced to 91% complete, one week ahead of 76% last year and the five-year average. Fifty-seven percent of the corn crop had emerged, well ahead of 16% last year and the 23% average.
- Soybean planting was 60% complete, ahead of 33% last year and 12 days ahead of the 28% average. Soybeans emergence was at 18%, ahead of 1% last year and the 2% average.
- Sorghum planting was 25% complete, ahead of 14% last year and six days ahead of the 11% average. About 4% of the sorghum crop had emerged, ahead of 1% last year.
- Oat emergence was at 93%, well ahead of 73% last year and 83% average. Oat conditions rated 2% poor, 21% fair, 73% good, and 4% excellent.
- About 95% of the wheat crop had jointed, well ahead of last year’s 64% and 67% average. Wheat headed was 52%, ahead of 1% last year and 18 days ahead of the 4% average. The impact of freezing temperatures in the northern Panhandle is not yet known. The cool, dry weather slowed the advancement of disease in parts of south central and southeast Nebraska. Wheat conditions rated 3% poor, 29% fair, 57% good, and 11% excellent, above last year’s 47% good to excellent and the 64% average.
- The first fields of proso millet were planted.
- The first cutting of alfalfa was 44% complete, well ahead of 1% last year and 19 days ahead of the 2% average. Alfalfa rated 4% poor, 24% fair, 56% good, and 16% excellent, near last year’s 71% good to excellent and 74% average.
- Pasture and range conditions rated 2% poor, 32% fair, 60% good, and 6% excellent, compared to last year’s 63% good to excellent and the 70% average.
- Wild hay conditions rated 1% poor, 23% fair, 73% good, and 3% excellent, above last year’s 45% good to excellent