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August begins with cooler weather as crop progress is above average

August begins with cooler weather as crop progress is above average


Although temperatures were on the mild side Tuesday, the summer heat has producers utilizing their pivots, like this one along Shady Bend Road north of Highway 30, to keep their crops watered and cool. (Independent/Barrett Stinson)

Cooler weather has been prevalent for the beginning of August, with temperatures more than 6 degrees below the 30-year average in Grand Island, according to the National Weather Service in Hastings.

July ended on a rainy note with 2.41 inches of precipitation falling in the waning days of the month. The rain was followed by cooler than normal weather during the heart of summer.

But the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday that corn and soybean progress was ahead of schedule.

The week ahead

Cooler summer weather will stick around through Wednesday until temperatures head back up into the mid- to upper 80s and low 90s later in the week. There will also be increased chances of showers and thunderstorms.

During the last 20 years, the daily average temperature for August has been 74.2 degrees. That is 3 degrees lower than the average for July as the daylight hours slowly begin to lessen.

Average rainfall for August, during the last 20 years, has been 3.2 inches, though Grand Island received about 12 inches of precipitation last August. Two years prior, in 2017, less than an inch of precipitation fell during the month in Grand Island.

Wednesday’s high will be near 81. There is a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms Wednesday night, with a low of about 64.

Thursday’s high will be near 85, with a 20% chance of showers and thunderstorms that night. The low will be about 68.

Friday through the weekend, high temperatures will be in the low 90s, with lows in the upper 60s. There are chances of rain and thunderstorms each night.

Crop conditions

— Statewide, corn condition rated 2% very poor, 5% poor, 16% fair, 55% good and 22% excellent. Corn silking was 94%, ahead of the 81% last year, and the 91% five-year average. Dough was 43%, well ahead of the 23% last year and the 31% average. Dented was 6%, near the 2% average.

— Soybean condition rated 1% very poor, 4% poor, 16% fair, 57% good and 22% excellent. Soybeans blooming was 95%, well ahead of the 75% last year and ahead of the average of 87% . Setting pods was 64%, ahead of the 46% last year and the 53% average.

— Winter wheat harvested as of Sunday was 96%, well ahead of the 69% last year and ahead of the 90% average.

— Sorghum condition rated 2% very poor, 6% poor, 28% fair, 39% good and 25% excellent. Sorghum headed was 64%, well ahead of the 38% last year and ahead of the average of 51%. Coloring was 1%, near the 3% both last year and average.

— Oats harvested was 92%, well ahead of the 68% last year and the 81% average.

n Dry edible bean condition rated 0% very poor, 1% poor, 13% fair, 71% good and 15% excellent. Dry edible beans blooming was 73%, ahead of the 55% last year. Setting pods was 38%, ahead of the 19% last year.

— Pasture and range conditions rated 2% very poor, 7% poor, 32% fair, 55% good and 4% excellent.

Drought increasing

The U.S. Drought Monitor reports that about 33% of the U.S. is experiencing some form of drought. That number was 25.5% in late June.

Nationwide, 37% of the topsoil moisture and 35% of the subsoil moisture was short or very short, and 30% of the pasture and rangeland was in poor to very poor condition, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor.

For the week ending Sunday, the USDA reported that in Nebraska topsoil moisture supplies rated 12% very short, 25% short, 60% adequate and 3% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 10% very short, 26% short, 62% adequate and 2% surplus.

The drought report said that approximately 28% of the U.S. cattle inventory are in areas experiencing drought.

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