Crop Progress and Condition for the Month of January 2014.
January started out with frigid temperatures. Nowata recorded a low of twelve degrees below zero on the 6th. During the second week of the month, temperatures increased, most areas of the state were in the 70’s. Grandfield recorded a high of 80 degrees on the 12th. The warmer temperatures mixed with high winds and low humidity, significantly increased the risk of wildfires. Wildfires were experienced in parts of the state, but were not widespread. In the Northeast district, several acres were burned causing damage to pastureland.
Overall the month of January was categorized as high winds and little to no precipitation. According to the most recent drought monitor, the majority of the state was rated abnormally dry to no drought at all, while the Panhandle and the far Southwest district were rated an extreme to exceptional drought. Due to the limited amount of moisture, wheat grazing was inadequate. Some canola and winter wheat have also experienced freeze damage.
The Southeast district averaged just over an inch of rainfall for the month, while the Panhandle and West Central districts averaged less than half an inch. All nine districts were still below normal precipitation for the period since September 1st. Small grain condition ratings and pasture conditions were mostly good to fair for January. Topsoil and subsoil moisture conditions were both rated 72 percent short to very short, 28 percent adequate and none surplus.
Small Grains: Conditions of small grains and canola declined over the past month. Small grains and canola were rated mostly good to fair. Forty- one percent of the wheat crop was being grazed, six points ahead of the five-year average, and 19 points more than during January 2013. Sixty-nine percent of rye was reported as grazed, 38 points more than the previous year and 11 points higher than normal. Twenty-nine percent of oats were being grazed, compared to the five-year average of 19 percent.
Pasture and Range: Pasture and range conditions continued to be rated mostly good to fair for the month of January.
Livestock: Grazing of small grains decreased this month with limited moisture conditions. Producers were also providing hay and supplementary feed to herds as needed. Livestock conditions continued to be rated mostly good to fair.
Weather: Temperatures ranged from -12 degrees at Nowata on Monday, January 6th, to 80 degrees at Grandfield on Sunday, January 12th. Precipitation ranged from 0.02 of an inch in the West Central district to 1.33 inches in the Southeast district. Soil temperature averages ranged from 29 degrees at Wynona on Tuesday, January 7th, to 50 degrees at Idabel on Saturday, February 1st.