Lower temperatures help, but crops suffering

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- Falling temperatures and rainfall in parts of Missouri helped to stabilize pasture and row crop conditions at the end of the past week, the Missouri Agricultural Statistics Service reported Monday, but low soil moisture continued to be a problem. For the week that ended Sunday, all but three northern districts reported topsoil moisture conditions short to very short. Statewide, topsoil moisture was rated 39 percent very short, 34 percent short, 26 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. That was an improvement over the previous week, when 82 percent was rated either short or very short. Still, pasture conditions continued to suffer throughout the state. Pasture conditions were rated 37 percent very poor, 32 percent poor, 24 percent fair and 7 percent good. Several producers in central and southern Missouri have had to sell off cattle to thin their herds because the rangeland cannot support larger numbers.

Some areas in central and southwest Missouri have reported severe shortages of water for livestock.

Ninety-three percent of the corn crop is in the dough stage, three days ahead of last year and 10 days ahead of normal. Sixteen percent of the crop is mature, two days behind last year but five days ahead of the five-year average.

The crop is rated 5 percent very poor, 14 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 41 percent good and 6 percent excellent, almost unchanged from the previous week.

Ninety percent of the soybean crop was blooming, about the same as last year but five days ahead of average. The crop's condition improved slightly over the previous week and was rated at 7 percent very poor, 19 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 32 percent good and 5 percent excellent.

Sorghum heading was at 92 percent, slightly ahead of last year and more than one week ahead of normal. The crop declined to 1 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 41 percent fair, 46 percent good and 3 percent excellent.

Rice condition improved slightly to 2 percent poor, 11 percent fair, 52 percent good and 35 percent excellent. Eighty-three percent of the crop is headed, one day behind last year but four days ahead of average.

Ninety-four percent of cotton was setting bolls, slightly behind last year and normal. Cotton condition is rated 5 percent poor, 24 percent fair, 63 percent good and 8 percent excellent.

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