Archive for Wednesday, November 20, 1991

RAIN SLOWS AUTUMN WHEAT PLANTING

November 20, 1991

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Recent rains have prevented farmers from finishing their wheat planting and harvesting of sorghum, according to the state's official crop monitoring agency.

Nearly half of the infant wheat crop is in poor or very poor condition, and its development has been slower than expected, Kansas Agricultural Statistics reported on Tuesday. The agency said that last week, farmers could spend an average of only 1 days in their fields.

Douglas County farmers are already finished with their harvesting for the year, said Garry Keeler, Douglas County Extension agricultural agent.

Keeler also said the county's wheat drop is in poor condition because the ground was so dry when it was planted.

However, Keeler said the recent rains will help the wheat crop.

"Because of the rains, we'll have less winter injury for the spring wheat crop," he said. "We won't see the effect of it until next spring."

MEANWHILE, the Kansas Agricultural Statistics report said ``Farmers in east-central and southeast Kansas managed to get a few fields planted, but cold weather and muddy fields have kept wheat planting at a standstill for nearly three weeks.''

Farmers have almost finished seeding wheat, but they had finished the task across the state at this time last year. Also, only three-quarters of the crop has emerged, compared to an average of 95 percent for the past five years.

Only 5 percent of the crop is in excellent condition, and another 15 percent is in good condition. KAS said 31 percent of the crop is in fair condition, while 38 percent is in poor condition. The remaining 11 percent is in very poor condition, according to the agency.

``Recent record low temperatures may have caused some freeze damage, but most stands had some ice or snow cover that provided some protection,'' the report said.

HOWEVER, the crop monitoring agency said the rain did have some positive effects, following a dry summer and fall.

``Most areas of the state now have enough moisture to germinate seed,'' the report said.

KAS said that 98 percent of the state's sorghum crop has been harvested, compared to an average of 90 percent for the past five years.

``Only a few scattered fields in south-central and southeast areas remain to be harvested,'' the report said. ``Sorghum stubble fields are being grazed where water supplies are available.''

The agency also said farmers have finished harvesting soybeans and that their work this year was completed ahead of schedule. During the past five years, farmers on average have harvested 85 percent of the crop by the middle of November.

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