Dry Conditions Hasten Harvest Progress, But Several Still Trail

Abnormal dryness developing over the past week has made for ideal harvest conditions.  USDA’s weekly Crop Progress report indicates that one-sixth of Missouri’s corn has been harvested, while 73 percent has reached maturity.  Both figures are ahead of a year ago, while the five-year average is 22 percent harvested and 68 percent mature.  Conditions improved from a week ago, with 66 percent rated good to excellent against nine percent poor.  Soybean harvest began quietly with one percent of beans already in the hopper, in line with the five-year average.  A fourth of beans have dropped leaves, with 54 percent turning color and 97 percent setting pods.  62 percent are rated good to excellent, a one-point improvement from last week, while eight percent remain poor or very poor.

Rice harvest is picking up in the Bootheel, with 26 percent out of the ground.  However, that is eight points behind the average pace.  68 percent of the remaining crop is rated good to excellent, compared to five percent poor.  55 percent of cotton bolls have opened, three points behind a year ago and eight points behind normal.  Cotton harvest has not begun as of Sunday; this time last year, two percent of the crop had been harvested.  Conditions weakened, with 71 percent rated good against five percent poor.

Winter wheat planting has not yet begun in the state; the five-year average is one percent.  Pasture conditions have weakened amid the dry conditions.  Just 53 percent is rated good to excellent, a ten-point drop from last week.  15 percent is rated poor or very poor.  96 percent of alfalfa fields have received their third cutting.  6.2 days were suitable for fieldwork.

12 percent of Missouri farmers are believed to lack adequate hay supply, compared to five percent with a surplus.  14 percent are lacking adequate stock water.  0.28″ of rain fell across the state on average last week, more than 0.8″ of an inch below normal.  Temperatures averaged 6.6 degrees above average at 74.2°F.  43 percent of topsoil and 30 percent of subsoil lack adequate moisture.