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Week Ending April 16, 2006

Agricultural Summary

Missouri farmers made considerable progress with tillage and planting during the continued dry weather of the past week. Many reporters indicated rain is needed soon for normal germination and growth of new crops. The State averaged 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork. Sixty-two percent of the ground intended for spring field crops has been worked at least once, 5 days behind last year but 2 days ahead of the 5-year average of 58 percent. The topsoil moisture supply is rated 14 percent very short, 41 percent short, 44 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus, a substantial decline from a week earlier.

Field Crops Report

Corn planting jumped to 50 percent complete, 2 days ahead of last year and 5 days ahead of the 5-year average of 38 percent. In the main cropping districts, progress varies from less than one-third complete in the northwest and east-central districts to over three-fourths planted in the southwest and southeast districts. Sorghum planting is still just getting started, with 6 percent in the ground, although progress is about a week ahead of normal for this date. The west-central and southeast districts, with about 15 percent planted, account for most of the sorghum currently planted. The rice crop is 44 percent planted, 12 days ahead of last year and 2 weeks ahead of the 10 percent average. Four percent of the crop has emerged, also well ahead of normal. Three percent of the intended cotton acreage has been planted, just slightly ahead of average. Two percent of the wheat crop is headed, slightly ahead of normal. Wheat condition is rated as 9 percent poor, 31 percent fair, 49 percent good, and 11 percent excellent, a decline from a week earlier. The lowest ratings are in the southwest district where farmers have had to control a large aphid population by spraying, while dry weather and mosaic rust are also hindering prospects.

Pasture & Livestock

Pasture condition is rated 11 percent very poor, 23 percent poor, 45 percent fair, 19 percent good, and 2 percent excellent, a decline from a week ago. Pastures in the southwest district of the State are rated distinctly lower than other areas, with 90 percent poor or very poor. Rain is urgently needed in the driest areas to support grass growth and restore water levels in stock ponds.

Weather Summary

Abnormally warm temperatures during the past week ranged from 7 degrees above normal in some extreme southeastern locations of the State to as much as 17 degrees above normal at Corning, in the northwest. A large majority of counties in the northern half of the State were at least 12 degrees above average. Rainfall for the week averaged 0.14 inches for the State, with a majority of counties in the southern two-thirds of the State receiving little or no rain. The largest amounts of precipitation were recorded in the northwest district, which averaged 0.46 inch.

Missouri Summary for Week Ending April 16, 2006
    This Year Last Year Normal    
Days Suitable For Fieldwork days 6.4 3.6 N/A    
Ground Worked , Spring Tillage % 62 70 58    
Corn Planted % 50 46 38    
Cotton Planted % 3 2 2    
Rice Planted % 44 7 10    
Rice Emerged % 4 0 0    
Sorghum Planted % 6 2 2    
Winter Wheat Headed % 2 1 1    
    Very Short Short Adequate Surplus  
Topsoil Moisture Supply % 14 41 44 1  
    Very Poor Poor Fair Good Excellent
Winter Wheat Condition % 0 9 31 49 11
Pasture Condition % 11 23 45 19 2