'Adequate' Subsoil Moisture Reported at Just 4%

'Adequate' Subsoil Moisture Reported at Just 4%

Dried weeds clogging an irrigation ditch  

Tumbling Tumble Weeds

Tumble weeds (from kochia, Russian thistle, tumble mustard, etc.) have blown down one of the main irrigation canals in the Platte River valley and lodged near the Sunflower Road Bridge. In many years, growers would burn such an area, but given dry conditions and high winds this year burning may be limited. (Photo by Gary Stone)

 

April 4, 2013

Winter wheat in Thayer County, Nebraska

Winter wheat in an irrigated field in Thayer County April 3. (Photo by Brandy VanDeWalle)

Wheat planted into millet stubble

Winter wheat planted into millet stubble in a Panhandle field (above). Even that small amount of stubble made a big difference, notes Extension Educator Gary Stone. Most of the winter wheat in the Panhandle and eastern Wyoming looks like this, probably fair to maybe good. The photo below shows a field under drought and wind stress where there was little residue to plant into last fall. (Photos by Gary Stone)

Wind erosion near Wyoming

 

While spring rains were welcomed in areas of Nebraska last week, soil moisture continued to be severely limited, according to information from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office this week.

  • Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 37% very short, 43% short, 20% adequate, and 0% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 60% very short, 36% short, 4% adequate, and 0% surplus. There were 4.5 days suitable for fieldwork.
  • Wheat conditions rated 14% very poor, 35% poor, 41% fair, 10% good, and 0% excellent.
  • Thirty-one percent of the oat crop had been planted by March 21, behind last year’s 35% but ahead of the 16% average.
  • Hay and forage supplies rated 16% very short, 43% short, 41% adequate, and 0% surplus. 
  • Stock water supplies rated 12% very short, 24% short, 63% adequate, and 1% surplus. Livestock producers have reported favorable spring calving conditions with good survival rates.