Woke up yesterday to just some “great” news about the ongoing drought in the Oklahoma Farm Report and its impact on the regions winter wheat crop:
“In Oklahoma, winter wheat planted reached 53 percent, down 3 points from the previous year and down 13 points from the average. Winter wheat emerged reached 30 percent, down 5 points from the previous year and down 16 points from the average. Most of Oklahoma’s wheat has been dusted in, waiting on that moisture to arrive.
For Kansas, winter wheat planted was 64 percent, behind 73 percent last year, and near 66 percent for the five-year average. Emerged was 33 percent, behind 45 percent last year and the 44 percent average.
In Texas, Winter wheat planted reached 70 percent, up 7 percentage points from the previous year and the average. Winter wheat emerged reached 37 percent, down 1 point from the previous year and the average.”
The pasture news isn’t much better:
“The latest USDA crop progress report shows pasture and range conditions having yet to see improvement. Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma have the lowest pasture and range ratings in the entire country. Oklahoma pasture and range conditions are rated 78 percent poor to very poor, Nebraska is rated 83 percent poor to very poor and Kansas is rated 76 percent poor to very poor.
Other states such as Texas, Missouri, and Arkansas are also suffering from extremely poor pasture and range conditions. Texas is rated 58 percent poor to very poor and Missouri is rated 64 percent poor to very poor. Arkansas is rated 63 percent poor to very poor.
One year ago, Oklahoma’s range and pasture conditions were rated 25 percent poor to very poor, so we have seen that condition decline rapidly over the past year. Going into the winter season, these low numbers are not a good sign for those wanting to get wheat pasture cattle out on the field.”
This weeks drought monitor isn’t helping either (remember the darker the picture, the worse the drought):
The conditions in Oklahoma and Kansas especially continue to deteriorate. Wish I could say something positive. I guess we don’t have to worry about flooding at the moment.
Anyway—as these conditions continue, we will keep trying to get information about the impact of the drought out there. As part of this effort, we are continuing our “Voices from the Drought” video series. This week we posted our second video. This time we visit with Matt Muller, a crop producer from Southwest Oklahoma about the impact these dry conditions have had on his operation.
You also can check out our latest podcast interview with our partners at the National Weather Service. Spoiler alert….the outlook for a drought-breaking rain over the next few weeks and months isn’t promising.
As a reminder, if you have not checked in with your local USDA Service Center to see what kind of drought assistance is available, you need to do so! Not only is there help available from USDA (we wrote about some of this in an earlier blog ), but some states have taken action on drought assistance too (Oklahoma for example, has engaged its emergency drought fund).
Here’s hoping that the rains come soon!