Corn, Rice Planting Accelerates Amid Dry Week

Warmer temperatures and half the usual amount of rainfall provided Missouri farmers ample opportunity to plant their corn, rice and even soybeans.  USDA’s weekly Crop Progress report found that farmers took advantage of nearly six days suitable for fieldwork by planting 23 percent of expected corn acres in the past week, putting the completion rate at 30 percent.  That is 26 points better than last year and 22 points ahead of average pace.  Rice is also 30 percent planted, with nearly all of it planted in the past week.  That’s 28 points ahead of average.  Farmers also took a jump start on planting soybeans, with five percent already in the ground.  Three percent of winter wheat has headed, just ahead of the five-year average and two points better than last year.  Conditions weakened slightly, with 72 percent good to excellent versus five percent poor or very poor.

The year’s first hay and pasture conditions are out.  57 percent of pastures are rated good to excellent, two points better than a year ago.  Four percent of fields are listed in poor shape.  47 percent of farmers are believed to have a shortage of hay supply, while seven percent are short on water.  Temperatures were over six degrees above normal at 60.4°F.  Precipitation was a half-inch below normal, averaging 0.58″.  17 percent of topsoil and 16 percent of subsoil lack adequate moisture, versus surpluses noted for four percent of topsoil and three percent of subsoil.  Soil moisture was particularly lacking in the Bootheel as well as along the Missouri River in Cooper and Saline counties.