See that blob of red in the middle of the state of Kansas? We farm really close to that red blob. That's an area of extreme drought.
All the color on the map - from yellow to burgundy - means that much of the state desperately needs rain. We certainly do.
So in this pictorial 21st-of-the-month wheat crop update, moisture - or the lack thereof - is the overriding concern.
The wheat isn't very tall. Dry conditions contribute to that.
In a Facebook memory that came up on my news feed last week, I saw that in 2017, the wheat had already headed. (Click HERE for that post.) We aren't that far yet as we work our way toward our summer 2022 harvest.
But the wheat has jointed. The bearded head of the wheat is in the wheat stalk and will emerge soon.
While moisture is the current limiting factor for this year’s harvest, the outlook is more nuanced than measuring the dust or raindrops in the gauge. According to Kansas Crop Progress and Condition report on April 17, issued by USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), the winter wheat crop's topsoil moisture supplies rated 33 percent very short, 30 percent short, 36 percent adequate and 1 percent slurpus. Subsoil rated 32 percent very short, 34 percent short, 34 percent adequate and 0 percent surplus.
The field crop report rated the winter wheat crop as 11 percent very poor, 20 percent poor, 36 percent fair, 30 percent good and 3 percent excellent. Winter wheat jointed was 34 percent, behind 47 percent last year and 44 percent for the five-year average.
A few areas got a little rain overnight on April 22 into April 23. We got less than 0.10 of an inch.
Here's what it looked like during my first photo session on the 21st of a month - this one from back in October. For that whole blog post, click HERE.
There is a chance for rain later this week. Let's hope this round doesn't miss us!