It still is April out there, but from the weather, you wouldn't know it. A few high cirrus clouds helped Kansas avoid its first 100 degree day of 2012 last week, but temperatures were still in the upper 90s in Medicine Lodge and Garden City and in the mid-90s in Wichita.
After a brief cool-down, 90-degree days are back in the forecast starting in the middle of this week.
The winter that wasn't turned into an early spring, and now apparently, an early summer. And, pushing into May, worries about a late freeze have timed out.
Kansas Agricultural Statistics reports that across the state, 45% of the wheat crop has headed. In south central and southeast Kansas, the wheat is more than 80% headed and looking good. About 68% of the crop is rated at good or excellent, with 25% fair, 5% poor and 2% very poor.
Corn planting is more than 30% complete and soybean, sorghum and cotton planting is under way and the first cutting of alfalfa is about 15% complete, well ahead of the five-year average.
In much of the state, that alfalfa cutting is coming after a crop recovery from early – and severe – alfalfa weevil infestation.
The biggest danger from the rise in temperatures, and the winds that area forecast to come along with them, is rapid loss of moisture. Drought stress is already visible on the wheat in the northwest part of the state.
Only a slight change of thunderstorms is in the forecast along with the big heat-up and cool-down, something that could cause a drop in those good-looking wheat reports.
Across most of the state, moisture is still holding up, with about 77% of topsoil moisture adequate and subsoil still ok for 73 percent of the state.
Rust continues to be a problem and the airplanes are busy in the western part of the state, getting fungicide on the rapidly maturing crop.
At the rate things are going, we're in for an early harvest. Combines could be rolling before Memorial Day unless we see a big change.