Missouri’s crops began July maintaining their pace while bracing for a warmer than usual month. USDA’s Crop Progress report indicates that 21 percent of corn is tasseling, just ahead of a year ago but half the five-year average. 69 percent of the crop is good or excellent, slightly better than last week, with six percent still rated poor or very poor. A sixth of Missouri’s soybeans have bloomed, in line with the five-year average and well ahead of last year. Planting is 96 percent complete, and 92 percent have emerged. 63 percent is considered good or excellent, compared to six percent poor or very poor. Winter wheat harvest is 86 percent complete.

Almost a quarter of the Bootheel’s cotton is squaring, 10 points ahead of a year ago but still well behind the five-year average. None of the crop has begun to set bolls. However, conditions improved three points to 37 percent good to excellent, against 28 percent poor or very poor. The first two percent of Missouri rice has headed, a fourth of the five-year average. Conditions are steady with 58 percent good to excellent and eight percent poor or very poor.

Drier conditions have weakened Missouri’s pastures. 60 percent of fields are in good to excellent condition, down six points, while five percent is listed in poor or very poor shape. Alfalfa cutting remains ahead of pace with 54 percent receiving its second cutting, compared to 33 percent last year and the five-year average of 49 percent. 83 percent of other hay has been cut. Four percent of Missouri farms reportedly have a shortage of hay, compared to seven percent with a surplus. Three percent lack adequate stock water, compared to two percent with a surplus.

Missouri farmers enjoyed four-point-six days suitable for fieldwork with temperatures two-and-a-half degrees above normal at just under 79 degrees. Precipitation averaged above normal for the state at one-point-four-three inches. Despite that, 18 percent of topsoil and 12 percent of subsoil lacked adequate moisture, compared to a surplus reported for 11 percent of topsoil and nine percent of subsoil.