What is in this article?:
• Rare exceptions show crop promise.
• Some areas have had no rain since last fall.
• Two million acres of cotton in jeopardy in high Plains
Getting a stand is big issue
She said planting at this point is not the question; getting a stand is a big issue. “If it doesn't rain within the next week or two, we're looking at possibly 2 million dryland acres lost in our area.”
Vic Schoonover, who keeps up with cotton prospects for North Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas Cotton, Inc. (NTOK) and canola for Producers Cooperative Oil Mill in Oklahoma City, said a lot of winter canola has been swathed in Oklahoma now, waiting to be harvested.
“Hail harmed some of it, particularly in the Okarche and Kingfisher areas. Gene Neuens with Producers Cooperative Oil Mill says farmers may still see a pretty good return even if some of the canola seed has been shattered on the ground.
“He’s predicting yields of 1,500 to 1,600 pounds per acre with most of the crop waiting to be harvested. In southern Oklahoma, many acres of canola have been lost to drought and weeds and insurance has not been helping.
He (Neuens) said canola is doing well in comparison to wheat. One wheat field in Tillman County yielded 25 bushels an acre in a very dry year primarily because it followed winter canola. In the same field where wheat followed wheat the previous year, yield was only 10 bushels per acre.”
Wheat yields are a mixed bag. “Some farmers in Jackson County had wheat receiving very little rain from January to April, 2011, and still made yields of 23 bushels to 27 bushels per acre in no-till fields,” Schoonover said.
“A lot of wheat was grazed out; extreme drought conditions brought yields of 9 bushels to 19 bushels in many areas. Around Bessie, Okla., two small fields of wheat yielded 30 bushels and 40 bushels. Probably isolated showers fell just at the right time.”
He said wheat harvest in Oklahoma is about 25 percent complete, according to Plains Grain, Inc.
Randy Boman, OSU Extension cotton program director, discussed the cotton situation:
“Near Altus,” Boman said, “only about 22 percent of normal rainfall has fallen since Jan. 1. Other areas, generally west of a line from Davidson, Tillman County, to Snyder, Kiowa County, to Elk City, Custer County, on I-40 west, have had a difficult May. Rainfall in other areas where cotton was planted under center pivots received considerable amounts of rain and in some areas, questions were asked about the need to replant.
“Even after badly needed rainfall, both dryland and irrigated fields in the drier western areas have experienced significant moisture loss in the upper soil profile and plantings are sometimes being lost due to severe environmental conditions.”