Moisture Totals Adding UpWritten by Beatriz Reyna
The heavy, wet snow that fell this past week is putting smiles to the faces of people who work with the soil.
While moisture totals are adding up, precipitation totals are still behind from where they should be.
“It's kind of an inconvenience sometimes in terms of traveling around and shoveling but in terms of agriculture it is solely needed so it's a good thing,” says Tim Shaver, WREC Nutrient Mgt. Specialist.
Nebraska fields are covered in blankets of snow.
“We've been monitoring it because it is really going to affect the crop growth as we get into the spring,” says Shaver.
Last week, Mother Nature dumped seven to eight inches of snow over fields, but Shaver says it's still not enough for crops.
“We are about thirteen and a half inches of precipitation up to this point for the year and our average is about sixteen and a half inches. So we are still three inches behind,” says Shaver. “Now being down three inches doesn't mean that the crops aren't going to grow it just means that they may not have as much as they would typically have.”
That's why Shaver hopes the next few months will bring precipitation levels to where they need to be.
“The wheat once it starts to grow it will start to use a lot of that soil moisture so we need to have soil moisture stored from the winter snow so when the wheat starts to grow there is water available,” says Shaver. “So if we know we have an average amount of rain that's a good indication that the crops are going to be doing probably ok going into the spring. If we have lower than that it's a concern that we might not have enough water to get the most optimum growth conditions for the crop. It is still a little early so we got time to make up that difference.”