Missouri farmers rolled through their corn fields in the past week, making use of dry conditions and above-average temperatures to double their harvest progress. USDA’s weekly Crop Progress report indicates that corn harvest is 34 percent complete as of Sunday, in line with the five-year average and 15 points better than a year ago. 86 percent of the crop has reached maturity, six points ahead of average and 18 points better than last year. Two-thirds of the remaining crop is rated good to excellent, compared to nine percent poor or very poor. Soybean harvest is up to five percent, also ahead of pace. Half the crop has dropped leaves, and 76 percent have turned color. 64 percent of the remaining crop is rated good to excellent against eight percent poor or very poor. Winter wheat planting is now underway, with one percent of the crop in the ground. The five-year average at this point is four percent.
70 percent of the Bootheel’s cotton bolls have opened, behind last year’s 86 percent and the five-year average of 79 percent. Cotton harvest has still not begun; this time a year ago, three percent of fields were harvested, and the five-year average is seven percent. Conditions ebbed, with 69 percent rated good versus five percent poor. Rice harvest is also behind average at 38 percent, but ahead of last year’s 25 percent. 70 percent of the remaining crop is in good to excellent condition, compared to two percent poor.
With more of Missouri sliding into abnormally dry conditions, pasture quality is weakening, with 43 percent of fields now rated good or excellent. That’s a ten percent drop from last week. 16 percent are now in poor or very poor shape. A tenth of Missouri farmers reportedly have a lack of hay supply, compared to five percent with a surplus. 18 percent of farmers lack adequate stock water. Soil moisture is more lacking, with 48 percent of topsoil and 36 percent of subsoil short. This came as precipitation around the state averaged 0.73″ of an inch. Last week’s temperatures averaged 65.3°F, 2.6 degrees above normal, and 6.4 days were suitable for fieldwork.