Dry Week Allows More Alfalfa Cutting To Take Place

Alfalfa cutting became the focus of Missouri farmers during the first week of August, as over a quarter of the state’s fields received their third cutting in the past week.  The weekly Crop Progress report from USDA indicated that 43 percent of Missouri’s alfalfa fields have received their third cutting as of Sunday, down ten points from the five-year average and 12 points behind a year ago.  Six percent of fields have yet to receive a second cutting.  Rainfall around the state was well below-average at 0.13″, providing six days suitable for fieldwork.  Still, three percent of Missouri farmers are believed to have a shortage of stock water, compared to four percent with a surplus.  Eight percent of farmers appear to be short on hay supply, versus six percent with a surplus.  Almost three-fourths of pastures are rated good to excellent, and just two percent of fields are considered poor.

The first four percent of Missouri corn has entered the denting stage.  This time last year, 22 percent had reached this stage, while the five-year average is 24 percent.  68 percent of corn has reached the doughing stage, while four percent of the crop has yet to tassel.  Conditions rebounded from the past two weeks, with 70 percent rated good to excellent, against seven percent poor or very poor.  Soybeans are back on a normal pace, with 48 percent setting pods and 78 percent blooming.  62 percent of the crop is rated good to excellent, up three points from last week, compared to eight percent in poor or very poor shape.

Nine out of ten cotton plants in the Bootheel have set bolls, continuing their advanced pace.  The region’s rice crop is 60 percent headed, nine points ahead of last year but nine points off the average pace.  Conditions improved for both, with 56 percent of cotton and 70 percent of rice rated good or excellent.  By comparison, 11 percent of cotton and three percent of rice are rated poor.

Temperatures were over two degrees below average at 73.7°F.  19 percent of topsoil and eight percent of subsoil are short on moisture, while just two percent of topsoil and three percent of subsoil have a reported surplus.