Hot, dry weather in the southwest plains and southern U.S. is having a negative impact on winter wheat.
Latest state crop reports show a continued deterioration in crop ratings for most of the southern plains except Texas. The greatest decrease in ratings were in Colorado and Nebraska which dropped 6 points in the good to excellent category from a week ago. Topsoil moisture is now running around 60% short to very short over western Kansas, western Oklahoma, eastern Colorado and western Nebraska. The outlook calls for mostly dry weather and above- to much-above-normal temperatures during the next seven to 10 days. Further deterioration in crop ratings can be expected mostly coming out of western areas.
It has been a very warm and dry fall in the Delta and Southeast states except for the Carolinas which were affected by Hurricane Matthew. This dry weather has led to very favorable harvest conditions for summer crops; however, it is having a significant impact on winter wheat. Topsoil moisture levels from Mississippi to Georgia are now running from 87% to 97% short. Winter wheat planting is falling behind normal due to this dryness as many producers have stopped planting. Crops that have been planted are showing poor emergence and development. The outlook calls for continued above-normal temperatures and mostly dry conditions during the next seven to 10 days.
The soybean harvest is mostly complete across the Midwest and Northern Plains. The corn harvest continues under generally favorable weather conditions. Some producers in Minnesota are waiting for a hard freeze to solidify the ground in areas of saturated soils. You would think that would not be asking for much at this time of the year. However, with a forecast of above- to much-above-normal temperatures during the next seven to 10 days, this is unlikely to happen. This warm weather is also delaying application of ammonia to fields as producers wait for the ground to cool.
Mike Palmerino can be reached at email@example.com
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