Pod-Setting Slows While Alfalfa Cutting Picks Up

Soybean progress slipped in the past week, while farmers across Missouri continued focusing on alfalfa cutting.  USDA’s Crop Progress Report indicates that as of Sunday, 84 percent of soybeans have reached blooming stage, and 58 percent have set pods.  Both have fallen behind the five-year average of 86 percent blooming and 62 percent setting pods.  However, conditions improved in the past week, with 65 percent in good to excellent shape versus six percent poor or very poor.  Corn denting remains well behind pace, with just 29 percent at this stage.  Normally, 45 percent of corn will have dented by now.  82 percent of the crop has doughed, roughly in line with the average.  Two-thirds of the crop is good to excellent, off a couple points from last week, while seven percent are listed in poor or very poor shape.

Bootheel crops continue progressing ahead of schedule with 95 percent of cotton setting bolls and 84 percent of rice headed.  66 percent of cotton is in good condition, with four percent in poor shape.  68 percent of rice is rated good to excellent against just two percent poor.

With 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork and temperatures 3.5 degrees above normal at 79.4°F, farmers gave a sixth of Missouri’s alfalfa fields a third cutting in the past week.  Nearly 60 percent have reached this point, six points behind a year ago and the five-year average.  Four percent of alfalfa fields still need a second cutting.  69 percent of pastures are considered good to excellent, compared to three percent rated poor.  Seven percent of Missouri farmers report a shortage of hay supply, compared to five percent with a surplus.  Five percent lack adequate stock water, while five percent report a surplus.  One-sixth of Missouri topsoil and nine percent of subsoil are short on moisture, while surpluses are reported in four percent of topsoil and five percent of subsoil.  Rainfall was above average in the past week, averaging 1.25″ across the state.