Tassels Appearing Atop Missouri Corn As Wheat Harvest Passes Halfway Point
Corn tasseling in a field in Lafayette County, Mo.

Another week of drier than normal conditions resulted in Missouri’s wheat harvest crossing the halfway point, while the first stalks of corn are showing their tassels.  The weekly Crop Progress report from USDA indicates that as of Sunday, 65 percent of winter wheat in the state is in the bin, putting harvest progress 17 points better than last year and seven points better than a year ago.  61 percent of the remaining crop is rated good to excellent, with 12 percent still considered poor or very poor.

One percent of corn has reached the silking stage.  That’s behind the five-year average of eight percent and last year’s pace of two percent.  69 percent of corn is rated good to excellent, down one percent on the week, while six percent remain poor or very poor.  Soybean planting is now at 93 percent, two points ahead of average but two points behind a year ago.  79 percent of the crop has emerged and one percent has bloomed, both behind the average and last year’s mark.  59 percent of soybeans are considered good or excellent, one point down from last week, and six percent are listed in poor or very poor condition.

The Bootheel’s cotton crop continues to drag behind average pace, with 27 percent squaring.  That’s ten points behind the average and 47 points behind last year.  Conditions decreased, with 60 percent rated good against 14 percent poor or very poor.  Rice quality remains steady with 67 percent in good or excellent condition versus six percent poor.

Dry conditions and above-average temperatures resulted in decreasing pasture quality.  60 percent of fields are rated good to excellent, while four percent are poor or very poor.  90 percent of alfalfa has received its first hay cutting, five points behind a year ago and four points off the five-year average.  Five percent has received its second cutting.  Two-thirds of other hay has been cut, in line with last year but four points behind the five-year average.  Eight percent of Missouri farmers are believed to be lacking in hay supply while one percent report a surplus.  Despite 30 percent of the state now reporting abnormal dryness, just three percent of farmers appear to have a shortage of stock water, compared to seven percent with a surplus.

Six days were suitable for fieldwork last week in Missouri.  34 percent of topsoil and 18 percent of subsoil were lacking adequate moisture, compared to a surplus in three percent of topsoil and two percent of subsoil.  Temperatures last week averaged 77.8°F, 2.7 degrees above normal.  Precipitation was less than half the normal rate, averaging 0.41″.