Pecan Scab Attack

When warm nighttime temperatures overlap times of high moisture, pecan scab spores have a good environment to commence their attack. In Oklahoma, we often see these weather conditions in late May and early June.

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(Photo: Leaf with pecan scab (William Reid/Northern Pecans)

Spores released in the spring can infect leaves and young stems. This begins the growing season cycle of pecan scab infection. Spores germinate to enter tender leaf, stem, and nutlet tissue. Fungal hyphae grow inside leaves and stems to produce more spores that infect more leaves, stems, and nuts. Continue reading

Beaver 2017, Too Long Between Rains

Western Oklahoma’s latest rain was critical to the success of this year’s winter wheat and canola crops. It also brought much needed relief to fire fighters as it drenched areas where large, devastating fires occurred in early March. The rain came with storms on March 28-29, 2017.

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If we just looked at rainfall totals, we’d be hard pressed to believe that 2017 is dealing with “dry” year conditions. That’s because rainfall totals since January 1st fail to tell the story of real-world conditions. One has to drill down and scrutinize rainfall totals under the microscope of daily rainfall events and amounts. And the Oklahoma Mesonet has just the tool to do that, the Mesonet Long-Term Averages Graph maker.  Continue reading

January 2017 Weather Roundup

January was a month of surprises! We froze from some of the coldest temperatures we’ve seen since 2011, then ended the month basking in spring-like, warm weather.

For January, the departure from Oklahoma Mesonet‘s 15-year average air temperatures ranged from 5 degrees above average in the Northeast and Southeast to 1 degree below average at Kenton in the Panhandle. The majority of winter wheat and canola fields were in areas that came in at 1-2 degrees above average.

2017-02-02.Jan 2017 Avg Air Temp Continue reading

Frigid Oklahoma Cattle Comfort

What a cold weekend we just went through! For Oklahoma, the cold air swept through the state on Saturday, December 17, 2016. The next two mornings, Sunday and Monday, were especially brutal for cattle.

Checking the Mesonet Cattle Comfort Advisor for Saturday, the maximum Cattle Comfort Index values ran from 82 degrees at Broken Bow in the southeast to zero at Boise City and Eva in the Panhandle.

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Continue reading

Cattle Comfort Rollercoaster

Oklahoma’s weather roller coaster has opened for business. And on the farm, the cattle are feeling it. Warm, cold, warm, cold and how about a day of drizzle that turned to freezing rain with a biting wind (Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016).

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Temperature weather variability has two sides. One side is the peak-to peak (amplitude) of the variability, how high or low temperatures go. The mornings of December 17th and 18th are going to be bitter cold with extreme lows. Continue reading

October Warm Temps and Lack of Rain

October followed a warm September with above average temperatures. Unfortunately, what was below average in October were our rainfall totals.

Looking back at October, our average air temperatures for the month were 4 to 7 degrees above average. Northern and central sections of the state, the yellow-orange areas, had the largest departure from the Oklahoma Mesonet Long-term 15-year average (2001-2015).

2016-11-04.Oct 2016.Air Temp Avg departure Continue reading

A “GOOD” Rain

Pat turned to me and with excitement in his voice and declared, “That was a “GOOD” rain!” Pat raises cattle. He watches his cattle closely to make sure they have what they need to stay happy and healthy.

So what is a “good” rain? For ranchers, like Pat, it means a rain that is timely. The rain needs to fall often enough to keep the grass growing. No rain. No grass. That’s what we had in 2011.

Young girl in puddle on farm

Photo: Chris Peterson Continue reading