Drought Diminishes Hay Production, Stymies Soy Forecast

Gradually worsening drought conditions since July have led to Missouri’s worst hay production in four decades.  That’s according to Wednesday’s monthly Crop Production report from USDA, which forecast just 441,000 tons of alfalfa harvested and 4.62 million tons of other hay.  Missouri State Statistician Bob Garino…

Drought developed as soybean plants were filling in pods.  Garino says sample areas used to determine yield showed lower pod counts.

USDA counted just 1606 pods per 18-square foot sample area, now leading to a 1.7 percent reduction for this year’s harvest, at 272.25 million bushels.  Corn ear count is also lower than usual, but strong test weights actually led to an improved forecast in this month’s report.

In the Bootheel, rice production remains on track to drop 27 percent at 1.13 billion pounds.  Cotton experienced another downgrade, now set to decline 15 percent to 690,000 bales.  Yield was lowered a second straight month, now projected at 1104 pounds per acre.