Cool, overcast conditions keep Missouri farmers out of fields

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Cool, cloudy weather kept farmers out of their fields much of last week and slowed the development of the corn and soybean crops, the Missouri Agricultural Statistics Service said Monday.

Spring tillage was 89 percent complete, one week behind last year but one week ahead of normal.

Because of early spring dryness, subsoil moisture levels remained a concern across much of the state. But topsoil moisture was in much better shape, rated at 1 percent very short, 8 percent short, 83 percent adequate and 8 percent surplus.

The corn crop is 96 percent planted and 87 percent of it has emerged, which is ahead of normal. But growth of the plants has been slow, with the condition of the crop rated 1 percent very poor, 3 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 57 percent good and 6 percent excellent.

Soybean planting is 26 percent complete, and about 7 percent of the crop has emerged. Sorghum planting is at 43 percent, the same as last year but two days ahead of normal. The rice crop is 91 percent planted and 87 percent emerged.

Condition of the crop is 1 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 59 percent good and 11 percent excellent.

Cotton planting, which is 53 percent complete, is more than one week behind both last year and the five-year average. The condition of the crop is rated 1 percent very poor, 25 percent poor, 40 percent fair, 30 percent good and 4 percent excellent.

Wheat is rated 3 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 46 percent good and 8 percent excellent.

The first alfalfa cutting is 17 percent complete and other hay is 6 percent cut. The cuttings are below average in yields because of the spring dryness.

Pasture conditions are rated 6 percent very poor, 15 percent poor, 43 percent fair, 31 percent good and 5 percent excellent.

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