December Precipitation Does Little to Help Nebraska and Kansas Crops
Despite the much needed moisture brought to the state through a few rainy and snowy weeks, Nebraska's winter wheat crop remains in bad condition.
The USDA says in its December report that 15 percent of the wheat was rated very poor and 34 percent poor. That combined 49 percent is a 3 point increase over the 46 percent reported for November.
The conditions in Kansas are only slightly better than Nebraska's with the Kansas Agricultural Statistics Service reporting that 31 percent of the state's wheat crop ended December in poor to very poor condition.
Forty-five percent was rated in fair condition, with 23 percent in the good category and only 1 percent reaching excellent condition.
The USDA says unseasonably warm and dry weather in the first half of December was followed by rain and snow. The snow provided cover for fields of winter wheat in Nebraska, but only three of Kansas' 53 reporting stations received more than an inch of precipitation in December.
In Nebraska, hay and forage supplies were rated at 10 percent very short, 29 percent short, 61 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus. Last year at this time ratings totaled 96 percent for adequate to surplus.
Range and pasture conditions declined in Kansas as well, with 84 percent in poor to very poor shape. Supplies of stock water are also a problem for livestock producers. The agency said supplies are short to very short across 77 percent of Kansas.