Much of state still hurting for rain

Wednesday, July 6, 2005

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Despite good amounts of rain last week in northern and western Missouri, most of the rest of the state is still hurting, the Missouri Agricultural Statistics Service reported Tuesday.

Farmers averaged 5.7 days suitable for field work last week.

Topsoil moisture averages declined from the previous week to 36 percent adequate, 38 percent short and 26 percent very short. Corn condition stayed about the same at 10 percent excellent, 43 percent good, 32 percent fair, 10 percent poor and 5 percent very poor.

Twenty percent of the soybean crop is blooming, three days ahead of last year. Conditions declined slightly from last week with 5 percent very poor, 12 percent poor, 36 percent fair, 41 percent good and 6 percent excellent, the agency said.

Sorghum condition was rated 4 percent excellent, 44 percent good, 40 percent fair, 10 percent poor and 2 percent very poor, slightly worse than last week.

Among other crops:

-- Cotton squaring rebounded to 75 percent, about where it was last year and for the five-year average. Cotton was rated 8 percent excellent, 41 percent good, 30 percent fair, 16 percent poor and 5 percent very poor, similar to the previous week.

-- Ninety-three percent of winter wheat is harvested, three days ahead of last year and four days ahead of the 85 percent average. Most wheat remaining to be harvested is in the northern counties.

-- Condition of the rice crop was rated 25 percent excellent, 54 percent good, 17 percent fair, 3 percent poor and 1 percent very poor, slightly improved from the week before.

-- The second crop of alfalfa hay was 72 percent cut, and 87 percent of other hay was cut, about a week ahead of the average for both. The agency said hay yields in southern counties are well below normal because of the lack of rain.

-- Pasture condition was rated 1 percent excellent, 22 percent good, 35 percent fair, 26 percent poor and 16 percent very poor, similar to a week ago. In east-central and south-central Missouri, some farmers have had to go to supplemental hay feeding.

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