Crop Quality Tumbles In Summer Heat

The first week of summer saw quality ratings tumble for corn and soybeans, along with a sharp downgrade for pasture conditions across Missouri.  The weekly USDA Crop Progress report indicated that 68 percent of Missouri pastures are now in poor or very poor shape, a 31-point jump from last week’s totals.  Just six percent of fields are now rated in good condition.  20 percent of farmers have enough hay on hand, while 35 percent are believed to have adequate stock water supply.  The second cutting of alfalfa is complete for 31 percent of Missouri fields, 14 points faster than the five-year average.  Meanwhile, four percent of alfalfa fields still need their first mowing.  77 percent of other hay has been cut, 12 points ahead of normal.

Corn and soybean ratings took the worst tumble in the nation this week as nearly one-sixth of Missouri started the week in extreme drought.  A quarter of Missouri corn fields are in poor or very poor condition, nearly double the figure from last week.  However, 31 percent of fields are in good to excellent shape, a drop of 12 points.  The first three percent of corn has entered the tasseling stage; normally five percent of corn would have begun tasseling at this point of the growing season.  As for soybeans, 32 percent of fields are in good to excellent condition, down 12 points, while 27 percent are rated poor or very poor.  That’s also nearly double last week’s total.  93 percent of beans have emerged, while the first six percent of the crop has bloomed.

Scattered showers in parts of the Bootheel showed more benefit for the rice crop than cotton.  Almost three out of four rice fields in Missouri are rated good to excellent, a 14-point jump from a week ago.  Just two percent of fields are considered poor or very poor.  The crop remains ahead of pace, as two percent of rice is already heading.  Meanwhile, 64 percent of Missouri cotton is squaring, 40 points ahead of a year ago and 30 points better than average.  Conditions weakened slightly, with 64 percent of fields in good to excellent shape versus five percent poor or very poor.

Wheat harvest continues at a brisk pace, with 69 percent of the crop in the bin.  That’s eight points better than last year and 18 points ahead of normal.  60 percent of remaining fields are rated good to excellent, compared to six percent rated poor or very poor.  An average of 6.8 days were suitable for fieldwork, with temperatures two degrees above normal at 76.9°F.  An average of just 0.3″ of rain fell across Missouri, with the heaviest concentrations in Columbia, Hannibal, Jefferson City and St Louis.  88 percent of topsoil and 81 percent of subsoil are lacking adequate moisture.