Now that summer’s here, it’s time to turn up the heat after a wet first six months of the year.
According to the National Weather Service in Hastings, the first full week of summer has had plenty of sunshine and highs into the 80s and 90s.
On Tuesday, there was the potential for a few storms to develop, mainly south of Interstate 80. A few storms have the potential to grow rapidly and quickly become severe, with hail up to golf-ball size and wind gusts up to about 60 mph possible. Wednesday will continue the warming trend, with highs from the mid 80s to low 90s and partly cloudy skies. Thursday and Friday will bring highs in the 90s and even the possibility of reaching 100 degrees on Friday.
According to the National Weather Service in Hastings, since Jan. 1, Grand Island has received 16.43 inches of precipitation. The 30-year-average is 13.45 inches. For June, as of Tuesday, Grand Island has received 4.1 inches.
Despite the wet conditions this year that caused many acres to not be planted or planted late, the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported that those crops that have been planted are fairing well.
On Monday the Nebraska corn condition rated 1% very poor, 3% poor, 19% fair, 66% good, and 11% excellent. Corn emerged was 95%, behind 100 both last year and for the five-year average.
Soybean condition rated 3% poor, 22% fair, 68% good and 7% excellent. Soybeans planted was 96%, near the 100% last year and the 99% average. Emerged was 85%, behind the 99% last year and the 96% average.
Winter wheat condition rated 1% very poor, 5% poor, 24% fair, 44% good and 26% excellent. Winter wheat headed was 94%, nearing the 98% last year and the 99% average.
Sorghum condition rated 2% poor, 18% fair, 76% good and 4% excellent. Sorghum planted was 91%, behind the 99% last year and the 98% average. Headed was 5%, ahead of the 2% last year and the 1% average.
Oats condition rated 1% very poor, 5% poor, 20% fair, 64% good and 10% excellent. Oats emerged was 95%, behind the 100% both last year and average. Headed was 53%, well behind the 89% last year and the 84% average.
Pasture and range conditions rated 1% poor, 8% fair, 69% good and 22% excellent.
In March, the USDA reported that Nebraska farmers intended to plant 9.7 million acres of corn this year. That was up 1% from 2018.
Soybean planted acreage in Nebraska is expected to be 5.4 million acres, down 5% from last year.
While the hot weather and sunshine are essential ingredients for a good crop, moisture is vital.
The USDA reported that in Nebraska. for the week ending Sunday, topsoil moisture supplies rated 0% very short, 1% short, 77% adequate and 22% surplus.
Subsoil moisture supplies rated 1% short, 81% adequate and 18% surplus.
Last year, corn-for-grain production in Nebraska was estimated at a record-high 1.79 billion bushels, up 6% from 2017, with a record yield of 192 bushels per acre, up 11 bushels from the previous year. Farmers harvested 9.31 million acres of corn for grain, up slightly from 2017.
Nebraska soybean production for 2018 totaled a record-high 333 million bushels, up 2% from 2017. Yield, at 59 bushels per acre, was up 1.5 bushels from a year earlier. Area for harvest, at 5.65 million acres, was down slightly from 2017. Planted acreage totaled 5.7 million acres.