Weather Alert

Hot Weather Speeds Up Hay Cutting, Wheat Harvest

Missouri farmers focused on hay cutting and winter wheat harvest in the past week, with significant improvement to progress on both.  USDA’s weekly Crop Progress report indicates that a quarter of Missouri’s winter wheat crop was harvested in the past week.  However, the 27 percent completion rate remains ten points behind a year ago and 17 points off the five-year average.  51 percent of the crop still in the field is rated good or excellent, compared to one-tenth of the crop now considered poor.  Another 14 percent of Missouri alfalfa fields have received their first cutting, bringing the overall number to 89 percent.  That’s just behind the five-year mark and last year’s progress.  57 percent of other hay has been cut, five points behind a year ago and eight points off the average.  The past week’s heat and meager rainfall, which at 0.35″ was just over a third of average, resulted in a 12-point drop in the number of fields considered good or excellent.  68 percent are rated in the top categories, while three percent remain classed in poor shape.

The first one percent of soybean plants have bloomed in the past week.  Planting is 92 percent complete as of Sunday, six points ahead of average and five points better than normal.  56 percent are rated good or excellent, down two points from last week, while five percent are listed in poor condition.  Missouri corn saw a slight improvement, with 57 percent in good or excellent shape versus seven percent poor or very poor.  47 percent of cotton in the Bootheel has squared, and one percent is already setting bolls.  While cotton’s condition remains unchanged since last month’s initial ratings, rice saw some more improvement with 68 percent considered good or excellent, compared to three percent poor.

An average of 6.3 days were suitable for fieldwork, with temperatures 5.4°F above normal at 79.4°F.  One in ten Missouri farmers reportedly lack adequate hay supply, compared to six percent with a surplus.  Eight percent of farmers have extra stock water, versus three percent that are short or very short.  30 percent of Missouri topsoil and 16 percent of Missouri subsoil is lacking adequate moisture, compared to five percent of topsoil and three percent of subsoil with a surplus.

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