Best of Nebraska

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YORK COUNTY — Recent rain has alleviated the need for typical irrigation applications, but has had little effect on crop progress.

“We’ve had moderate temperatures with the rain, so it’s not pushing it along as fast,” said UNL Extension Educator Jenny Rees. “It’s more of temperatures than rain alone.”

According to USDA-NASS and World Agricultural Outlook Board Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin, in the week ending August 3, the average temperature in Grand Island was 75 degrees F – one degree less than normal. The average high for that week was 84 degrees F; the low 67 F. Grand Island saw .82” increase in average rainfall.

Over the course of the same week, USDA-NASS reported the Lincoln area had an average temperature of 75 degrees F, a two-degree drop from the average. Lincoln’s average high for the week ending August 3 is 83 F; the low, 67 F. Average rainfall was .73” short.

Statewide topsoil moisture supplies were 4% very short, 21 short, 69 adequate and 5 surplus. Subsoil moisture also favored an adequate moisture supply percentage: 4% very short, 14 short, 75 adequate and 7 surplus.

Locally, higher amounts of rain than reported in Grand Island and Lincoln have eased a much-loathed task faced by many producers. “In general the rain that we’ve had this year is reducing irrigation in our part of the state,” Rees said. “It’s definitely helped with reducing the amount of irrigation that people have to apply.”

Still, crop progress in Nebraska – and nationally in general -- is still considerably behind, according to USDA-NASS. Seventy-eight percent of the nation’s corn acreage was at or beyond the silking stage by August 4. This is 17 percentage points behind last year and 15 points behind the five-year average. Nebraska fared a bit better, with 85% silking; however, this rate is below 94% last year, and 95 for the five-year average.

By August 4, 23% of the nation’s corn acreage was at or beyond the dough stage, lagging 31 percentage points behind last year and 19 points less than average. Nebraska’s dough stage was well behind last year as well, clocking in at 27%, compared to 54% at this time last year, and the 40% average.

Soybean blooming for the week was also lower than average. Nationally, 72% of the had reached the blooming stage, 19 percentage points behind last year and 15 points behind the 5-year average. Nebraska’s soybean blooming was 78% – well below 94% at this time last year, and a 95% five-year average.

Farther into development, 37% of the nation’s soybeans were setting pods, 36 percentage points behind last year and 26 points behind average. Nebraska’s status was 51%, less than 66% last year and 62 average.

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