By Kevin Hassler, Associate Editor
Enid News and Eagle
ENID, Okla. —
Planting for next year’s wheat and canola crops is continuing, boosted by recent rainfall.
Wheat planting is about 25 percent complete, said Rick Nelson, Oklahoma Cooperative Extension Service ag educator for Garfield County.
“It’s progressing rapidly,” he said. “There are good moisture conditions in Garfield County.”
Soil moisture conditions are good in many parts of the state, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricul-tural Statistics Service.
Topsoil moisture is rated as adequate over 40 percent of the state, according to NASS, compared to just 12 percent at the same time last year.
Topsoil moisture is short in 37 percent of the state and very short in 22 percent of the state, according to NASS. That total — 57 percent — compares to last year, when 88 percent of the state’s topsoil was listed as short or very short of moisture.
Subsoil moisture is rated as adequate in 34 percent of the state, according to NASS. Another 39 percent is listed as short and 25 percent is listed as very short.
Wheat planting ideally should finish by the first part of October, Nelson said.
Some farmers haven’t planted yet and still are tilling their fields to control volunteer wheat, which helps spread mites that cause diseases in the crop, he said.
“You’ve got to get rid of (volunteer wheat) to starve out the mites,” Nelson said.
Experts say volunteer wheat must be dead for 14 days before the next crop can be planted.
Some wheat that was planted earlier this month already is coming up in Garfield County, Nelson said.
Statewide, according to the latest NASS report, 15 percent of the wheat crop has been planted, while 75 percent of the seedbeds have been prepared.
The latest canola crop also is being put in the ground now. According to NASS, 14 percent of the state crop has been planted, while 76 percent of the seedbeds have been prepared.
“It’s ongoing,” Nelson said. “It’s in progress.”
The recent rain was “perfect for wheat and canola planting,” Nelson said.
“We’re in good shape now,” he said. “It’s setting up to be a good fall.”
Other crops benefitted from the wet summer, Nelson said.
Sorghum harvest saw yields around 100 bushels an acre west of Enid, he said, while “some corn did OK,” with harvests around 70-90 bushels an acre.
Hay production was good this year because of the abundance of rain.
“It’s been a great year,” Nelson said. “We went from a deficit to a bumper crop.”