Missouri Pasture Quality Relapses In Extreme Heat

Pasture conditions wilted in last week’s triple-digit heat, while most rowcrops held firm amid the blistering temperatures.  The weekly USDA Crop Progress report indicates that 71 percent of Missouri pastures are in poor or very poor shape, a 12-point jump from last week.  Six percent of fields are still in good condition, a five-point decrease from last week.  Five out of six Missouri farmers are believed to have a shortage of hay supplies, and 64 percent of farmers are reporting shortages in stock water supply.  Interestingly, one percent of farmers report a surplus of hay.  31 percent of alfalfa has received its third cutting, while seven percent of fields still need their second cutting.  Just six percent of other hay still needs mowed.

Among cash crops, corn showed the most weakness week-over-week.  Just a quarter of the crop was rated good to excellent this week, two points down from last week.  44 percent of fields were rated poor or very poor, up five points.  94 percent of the crop is tasseling while 56 percent are doughing.  Soybeans held steady, with 34 percent poor or very poor against 28 percent good to excellent.  79 percent of beans are blooming, with 45 percent setting pods.

Both Bootheel-centric crops saw slightly lower quality ratings this week.  Cotton totaled 70 percent good to excellent, down six points, while three percent was rated poor.  Boll-setting is still behind pace at 55 percent, compared to 63 percent a year ago and the five-year average of 57 percent.  76 percent of rice is rated good to excellent, down three points.  54 percent of the crop is headed, 18 points ahead of average and 24 points better than last year.

Last week’s heatwave resulted in the statewide temperature averaging 82.7°F, 5.4 degrees above normal.  Precipitation was 0.42″ below normal at 0.54″.  Another week of sparse rainfall for much of the state resulted in just 24 percent of topsoil and 23 percent of subsoil having adequate moisture.  Six days were suitable for fieldwork last week on average.