Pasture Conditions Weakening While Rowcrops Remain Strong

Above-average rainfall and temperatures just below normal last week didn’t help to stem the continued deterioration of Missouri’s pasture quality.  The weekly Crop Progress Report from USDA indicated that just 30 percent of fields were in good to excellent condition, down seven points from a week ago.  27 percent of fields are rated poor or very poor, an increase of four points.  This time a year ago, 69 percent of pastures were rated good to excellent against just two percent poor.

Wheat fields are in slightly worse condition than a week ago, with 59 percent rated good to excellent versus nine percent poor.  Both figures are lower than the previous week.  Rice fields in the Bootheel also weakened in the past week, with 65 percent rated good to excellent, a drop of four points on the week.  Three percent of fields are listed in poor shape.  Corn conditions also slipped, with 56 percent rated good to excellent against 11 percent poor or very poor.  The first soy condition ratings of the season have 55 percent of the crop in good or excellent shape versus eight percent poor or very poor.

Crop progress remains ahead of year-ago and five-year average paces.  Corn planting is 97 percent complete, up 16 points from last year.  88 percent of the crop has emerged, 35 points better than a year ago and 24 points ahead of average.  Soybean planting is double the average pace at 74 percent complete, with 54 percent of the crop emerged.  This time a year ago, just 15 percent of beans had emerged.  91 percent of winter wheat has headed, seven points ahead of last year and eight points better than average.  Four-fifths of the Bootheel’s cotton planting is complete, just ahead of last year and 17 points better than average.  Rice planting is 97 percent done, with 85 percent of the crop emerged.

Continued drought followed by recent rains have delayed hay cutting.  22 percent of alfalfa has received its first cutting, two points behind a year ago.  Only 11 percent of other hay has been cut, down 13 points from last year.  The five-year average for both is 19 percent.  59 percent of farmers report a shortage of adequate hay supply, compared to one percent with a surplus.  Nearly one in four farmers lack adequate stock water.  38 percent of topsoil and 44 percent of subsoil lack adequate moisture, compared to three percent of each with a surplus.

Rainfall across Missouri averaged 1.31″ last week, 0.28″ above normal.  Temperatures averaged 65°F, 0.7 degrees below normal.  An average of 4.4 days were suitable for fieldwork.