Crop progress remains ahead of average pace with almost a fourth of Missouri corn now in the doughing stage. That’s eight points ahead of average and 20 points better than last year, according to this week’s Crop Progress Report from USDA. 80 percent of corn has tasselled, in line with the five-year average and 23 points better than a year ago. 72 percent of the crop is in good to excellent shape, slightly better than a week ago, while six percent is now considered poor or very poor. Just over half of Missouri’s soybeans are blooming, 12 points better than the five-year average and 30 points better than a year ago. A fifth of the crop is setting pods. 65 percent is in good to excellent condition versus six percent poor or very poor.

The Bootheel’s cotton is finally setting bolls. 11 percent of the crop has done so, compared to the five-year average of 28 percent and last year’s five-percent mark. Just 39 percent of the crop is squaring. 39 percent of cotton is in good condition, down three points, while 20 percent remain in poor or very poor shape. Eight percent of Missouri rice has headed, just ahead of a year ago but well behind the five-year average of 22 percent. Conditions are able the same as a week ago at 62 percent good to excellent versus seven percent poor or very poor.

Winter wheat harvest is nearly complete with just one percent of fields needing harvested. Pasture conditions diverged, with 56 percent good to excellent against nine percent poor or very poor. 82 percent of alfalfa has received a second cutting, and 18 percent of fields have been cut a third time. 94 percent of other hay has been cut. Six percent of farmers are believed to have a shortage of hay, compared to eight percent with a surplus. However, eight percent reported a shortage of stock water, compared to one percent with a surplus. A third of Missouri’s topsoil and 24 percent of subsoil was short of moisture. That could improve next week following an average one-point-zero-eight inches of rain, four-tenths above average. Temperatures were a degree above normal, averaging at 79-point-four degrees. Five-and-a-half days were suitable for fieldwork.