As of March 22, the area of extreme drought that covered most of Barton and part of Stafford County shrank a bit and moved back to severe status and drought ranging from moderate to exceptional still covers the western two-thirds of the state in spite of recent moisture. It will take a great deal of precipitation to improve the outlook but the recent moisture will help the wheat. Wheat looks much better now than just a week ago. The six to ten-day outlook (March 29 to April 2) indicates near slightly below normal temperatures and a 33 – 40% of above normal precipitation. The eight to 14-day outlook (March 31 to April 6) indicates a 40 – 50% chance of below normal temperatures and 33 - 40% of above normal precipitation. Cooler temperatures will help the wheat make the most out of what moisture we receive. Today, there’s a great deal of information useful to producers and you don’t have to wait for extension agents to put it in the Sunday paper. So today, here are some useful websites for current news and items such as weather data. This isn’t a comprehensive list, but it will get anyone started.
First, when you see information the agriculture extension agents put in the Sunday paper, they are normally sharing information provided out of K-State in Manhattan. Here are a few useful outlets for you to stay ahead of the game:
• This page, www.ksre.k-state.edu/ will take you to the main KSU Research and Extension main page. This page has menus for research reports
• If you want weekly e-updates from Extension Agronomy, including herbicides, weather, and other crop, go to webapp.agron.ksu.edu/agr_social/index_new_prep.php and enter an e-mail address. This is very useful and timely information such as the herbicide information agents place in the paper and upcoming meetings and tours.
• Here is the address for the K-State Weather Data Library www.ksre.k-state.edu/wdl/.
• If you want to check the drought monitor which comes out every Thursday morning from data collected the past Tuesday go to droughtmonitor.unl.edu/.
• For the six to ten or eight to 14 day outlook or even longer term temperature and precipitation outlooks go to www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/610day/ and www.cpc.ncep.noaa.gov/products/predictions/30day/.
• If you want detailed weather information from temperatures to wind speed, rainfall, solar radiation, and evapotranspiration data (including day by day) from Barton, Edwards, Kiowa, Pawnee, Pratt, Reno, Rice, and Stafford Counties go to weather.gmd5.org/.
There are many other valuable sites than space allows, including the Kansas Department of Agriculture, but this is a good start so you can stay up on the latest news.
Dr. Victor L. Martin is the agriculture instructor/coordinator for Barton Community College. He can be reached at 620-792-9207, ext. 207, or email@example.com.