Rains delay planting but improve crop outlook

Tuesday, May 9, 2006

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Recent rains have slowed planting progress across Missouri, but also improved the outlook in other areas, the Missouri Agricultural Statistics Service said Monday.

Soybean planting has been delayed, while spring tillage, which is 85 percent complete, improved only 1 percent from last week. But the rains improved crop germination, pasture growth, stock water supplies and soil moisture.

Topsoil moisture supply, which had been low because of a lack of rain, has improved to only 1 percent very short, 8 percent short, 81 percent adequate and 10 percent surplus.

About 93 percent of the corn crop is planted, compared with 90 percent last week, and is five days ahead of last year's pace and 18 days ahead of the five-year average of 81 percent. Emergence is at 75 percent, nearly one week ahead of last year and 11 days beyond normal.

The rains put soybean planting behind last year, with only 15 percent complete compared with 19 percent last year. But that 15 percent is the same as the historic average.

Sorghum planting is 34 percent complete, compared with 22 percent last year and 27 percent for the five-year average. Rice planting is 90 percent complete, while emergence is at 80 percent, both more than two weeks ahead of normal. Cotton planting is 47 percent complete, behind both last year and the five-year average by just a few days.

The wheat crop is rated at 3 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 30 percent fair, 48 percent good and 8 percent excellent.

The state's pastures are rated 7 percent very poor, 18 percent poor, 43 percent fair, 28 percent good and 4 percent excellent, which is a major improvement over last week. Some areas in the southwest part of the state still are severely short of stock water, but most reports statewide are that runoff has started to refill ponds and streams.

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