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Week Ending April 23, 2006

Agricultural Summary

A warm, dry week yielded 6.4 days suitable for field work, enabling tillage operations and planting of spring crops to advance to several days ahead of normal. Seventy-four percent of spring tillage has been completed, 3 days behind last year but a week ahead of the 5-year average. Windy conditions, combined with the warm temperatures, have dropped topsoil moisture conditions to 21 percent very short, 44 percent short, 34 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus, a significant deterioration from a week earlier. The moisture shortage has caused remaining corn planting and the start of soybean planting to be delayed in several areas, as farmers fear dry soil will hinder germination and stand establishment. Some farmers with irrigation water have already started to water their crops to ensure germination.

Field Crops Report

Corn planting is 75 percent complete, 9 days ahead of last year and 10 days ahead of the 5-year average of 54 percent. Several districts saw rapid advancement. The northwest district went from 31 percent to 65 percent complete, while the west-central and southeast districts are both on the tail end at 93 percent complete. Sorghum planting is 19 percent complete, 12 days ahead of last year and 9 days ahead of normal. In the Bootheel, rice planting and emergence are well ahead of normal. Seventy-five percent is planted, 12 days ahead of last year and 17 days in front of the 5-year average, while emergence is at 23 percent, 11 days ahead of last year and 10 days ahead of normal. Flood irrigation has begun on early planted fields. Cotton planting is 19 percent complete, a few days ahead of both last year and the 5-year average. The wheat crop continues to decline in the dry, windy conditions. Growth has been slow, with heading much earlier than normal. Thirty percent of the crop is headed and beyond, compared with last year’s crop at 5 percent and the 5-year average at 6 percent. The current condition is rated at 3 percent very poor, 13 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 47 percent good, and 8 percent excellent. Some producers in the southwest are irrigating to help the crop. Barley yellow dwarf has been showing up in some Bootheel wheat fields, although the crop there remains in mostly good condition.

Pasture & Livestock

Pasture condition is rated 15 percent very poor, 28 percent poor, 39 percent fair, 17 percent good, and 1 percent excellent, a sizable decline from last week. Producers are still feeding hay because of slow pasture growth. Grass hays have stopped growing and are heading out, which does not bode well for replenishing short hay supplies. Stock water supplies are critically low in many areas. Some livestock auctions in the southwest district are reporting a few dispersal sales as producers cut herd sizes in reaction to current conditions.

Weather Summary

Temperatures were again above average state-wide. The southern most counties were 8 to 10 degrees above normal. Some locations in the Bootheel recorded highs in the mid-90’s. Northern areas were 3 to 6 degrees above normal. Rainfall averaged 0.44 inches for the week. The central district, with 0.78 inches, was the wettest, while the southwest district remained exceptionally dry, averaging 0.13 inches.

Missouri Summary for Week Ending April 23, 2006
    This Year Last Year Normal    
Days Suitable For Fieldwork days 6.4 3.8 N/A    
Ground Worked , Spring Tillage % 74 76 67    
Corn Planted % 75 60 54    
Cotton Planted % 19 11 11    
Rice Planted % 75 19 24    
Rice Emerged % 23 2 4    
Sorghum Planted % 19 6 8    
Winter Wheat Headed % 30 5 6    
    Very Short Short Adequate Surplus  
Topsoil Moisture Supply % 21 44 34 1  
    Very Poor Poor Fair Good Excellent
Winter Wheat Condition % 3 13 29 47 8
Pasture Condition % 15 28 39 17 1