The lingering drought as summer slips into fall here in 2023 is reflected best in the Pasture & Range ratings across the middle part of the US- especially here in the southern plains.
Oklahoma saw another big drop in the good to excellent ratings in the Crop Progress report released on Monday– dropping from 34% a week ago to 22% good to excellent this week- with 49% poor to very poor. That 49% number was the good to excellent rating number a month ago in mid August– so the hot dry conditions in recent weeks has flipped our conditions in just thirty days. 2023 is still a lot better than what we were dealing with at this point a year ago- Oklahoma’s pasture range ratings were just 9% good (None Excellent) in mid September 2022. (From the September USDA Crop Progress report of September 17, 2022)
Our neighbors are also suffering with declining pasture range conditions- Kansas is at 17% good to excellent this week- steady with a week ago and still better than the 8% of a year ago- Missouri is at 17% good to excellent this week- and up 2 points from last week. Arkansas pasture and range conditions slipped four percentage points this week versus last- and are now at 29% good to excellent. Both Missouri and Arkansas Pasture/range conditions stood at 30% good to excellent a year ago in mid September.
The best state in our region is New Mexico– they jumped 15 points this week versus last and now have a 60% good to excellent rating this week.
The two worst states in the US when it comes to Pasture Range ratings- Texas and Louisiana. Both states show a 7% good to excellent rating this week- that’s a drop in Louisiana of 6 points while Texas is up one point from a week ago. Texas is significantly worse this year versus last September when the state had a 27% good to excellent rating. Texas leads the nation in the poor to very poor numbers- at 71% poor to very poor ratings- off one point from last week. Louisiana is close behind Texas in that stat- 68% of their pastures are in poor to very poor condition.
Up into the midwest- two states jump out for their relatively poor ratings here in mid September- Iowa has a 15% good to excellent pasture/range rating while Wisconsin sits at 22% good to excellent. Nationally- the 48 state number is 34% in good to excellent condition- up one point from a week ago and six points better than in 2022.