April 25, 2008
Douglas Anderson, Extension Educator in Keith, Arthur, and Perkins counties: Field conditions in Keith and Perkins counties are dry. Field work is going like crazy and planting is starting. Wheat condition looks good right now, but we are short of water and need some rain. Alfalfa condition looks good.
Last week was another wet week for much of the east and south, keeping anxious Nebraska producers out of the field, according to USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service, Nebraska Field Office crops report of April 21.
Warmer weather and windy conditions at the end of the week raised soil temperatures and began to dry soils. The first fields of corn were planted in western counties; however, the majority of corn producers were still waiting on warmer, dryer conditions. Pastures and rangeland continue to green up and grow slowly. Alfalfa has also been slow to come out of dormancy, due to the cool temperatures. Panhandle producers continue to struggle with dry conditions with moisture needed for pastures and wheat.
Wheat conditions rated 1% very poor, 5% poor, 39% fair, 45% good, and 10% excellent, above the 50% good or excellent of last year and the average. Wheat jointed was at 5%, behind last year's 25% and 10 days behind 21% average.
Alfalfa rated 3% poor, 28% fair, 61% good, and 8% excellent. Conditions are well above last year's 28% good or excellent condition and the average of 53% good or excellent.
Oat planting increased to 57% complete, behind last year's 60% and a week behind 78% average. Oats emerged was at 14%, behind last year's 19% and 30% average.
Corn planting was underway in the west but limited to 2% statewide. This is behind both last year at 6% and the five-year average of 8%.
Livestock, Pasture and Range Report
Pasture and range conditions rated 6% poor, 33% fair, 54% good, and 7% excellent, well above last year. Spring calving was 88% complete. Calf losses rated 8% below average, 90% average, and 2% above average.