Categorized | Agriculture

USDA Crop Report and Weather Review

Weather Review

Last week was comparatively dry to the majority of December. Islands to the North had lingering precipitation early in the week from the week prior. As the week progressed rains tended to wane. The Island of Maui was left out of precipitation for the most part during the week. On the Big Island, light scattered showers, mostly windward, were present throughout the week. State Irrigation system water levels were in good shape with an increase in water level in all systems except for the Big Island’s which had a weekly decrease of only 1 percent. Continued improvements in water level at the State’s Waimanalo led to an upgrade from critical phase III restrictions to less restrictive phase II measures, see Honolulu County section for more information. Drought monitor shows good recovery for most areas, with leeward areas of Maui and Hawaii county still in abnormally dry [D1] to extreme [D3] conditions.

HIGHLIGHTS: A record daily maximum rainfall of .87 inch was set at Honolulu [Oahu] on Tuesday, December 28th. This broke the previous record of .45 inch set in 1954.

Hawaii County
Pasture conditions were improved greatly after December’s heavy rainfall. Although not as heavy, rains continued throughout the week. Last week’s Drought Monitor, for the week prior, showed upgrade of extreme [D3] drought conditions in Southern Kona/Ka’u area. The only area under extreme [D3] conditions was an interior section of the North Kohala district. The Waimea Irrigation System water level was marked at 48.5 feet on Thursday, December 30th; a decrease of 1 percent from the previous week’s reading of 49 feet. The current conservation status is unrestricted.

Maui County
Despite rains to the North and South Maui was dry with NASS followed gauges receiving less than .2 inch of rain. Breezy conditions and clear skies were good for crops, which were recovery from last week’s inundating showers. The Molokai Irrigation System water level was marked at 17 feet on Thursday, December 30th; an increase of 3 percent the previous week’s reading of 16.5 feet. Phase III mandatory conservation measures remained in effect. Measures included a MANDATORY 30 percent conservation in usage from all non-homestead users.

Honolulu County
The Waimanalo Irrigation System water level was marked at 42 feet on Friday, December 31st; an increase of 6 percent from last week’s reading of 39.5 feet. Effective December 27th phase II mandatory conservation measures were implemented. Measures included a MANDATORY 20 percent reduction in use and water service limited to weekdays between the hours of 7 AM and 3:30 PM.

Kauai County
The county saw significantly less rainfall than in previous weeks. Rainfall from the previous week system diminished as the week progressed which allowed areas that had seen flood damage to clean up. For the most part, showers dried up by Wednesday. Last week, Kauai County joined Honolulu County as a county clear of any type of drought status according to the National Drought Monitor.

Agricultural Highlights

Clear and sunny skies with light winds were beneficial to orchard progress. Vegetables

Conditions were improved with lighter rains as well as clear skies, allowing saturated soils a chance to drain after past weeks of heavy rain.

Livestock and Pasture
Pastures were in good condition in nearly all areas as greening from past showers, and light showers over the past week, was clearly visible across much of the State

Full crop weather report in PDF format here

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