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Week Ending April 30, 2006

Agricultural Summary

Much needed rain fell late in the week, helping early planted field crops and starting a recovery in pastures. Especially heavy totals fell in the southwest district, where it was needed most after several months of severe dryness. There were 3.6 days suitable for fieldwork, which came early in the week as many farmers finished corn planting and moved on to soybeans. Spring tillage stands at 84 percent complete, 4 days ahead of last year and nearly 2 weeks ahead of normal. The rain dramatically improved topsoil moisture supply, rated at 3 percent very short, 14 percent short, 73 percent adequate, and 10 percent surplus. However, more rain is needed to replenish subsoil moisture in many areas, with the State averaging 12 percent very short, 38 percent short, 48 percent adequate, and 2 percent short.

Field Crops Report

Corn planting is 90 percent complete, 8 days ahead of last year and 3 weeks ahead of the 5-year average of 68 percent. Emergence, at 58 percent, has advanced 6 days ahead of last year and 8 days beyond the normal pace of 40 percent. Soybean planting is 13 percent complete, 4 days ahead of both last year and the 5-year average. Beanleaf beetles are showing up in some areas of the Bootheel. Sorghum planting is 24 percent complete, 8 days ahead of last year and 5 days ahead of normal. In the southeast, rice planting and emergence are still well ahead of normal. Eighty-seven percent is planted, 8 days ahead of last year and 3 weeks in front of the normal pace, while emergence is at 51 percent, nearly 2 weeks ahead of both last year and the 5-year average. Cotton planting is 44 percent complete, 1 day ahead of last year and 4 days ahead of normal. Wheat condition is stable from last week at 3 percent very poor, 13 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 47 percent good, and 8 percent excellent. Sixty-four percent of the crop is headed, compared with last year at 17 percent and the 5-year average at 22 percent. The southwest district’s wheat has matured too far to be helped by the rain, with very poor yields expected, but later maturing wheat elsewhere in the state will benefit from the moisture. In the Bootheel, barley yellow dwarf virus is becoming widespread in Stoddard County wheat fields. First cuttings of alfalfa and other hay have begun, both ahead of normal.

Pasture & Livestock

Pasture condition is rated 13 percent very poor, 25 percent poor, 36 percent fair, 22 percent good, and 4 percent excellent, a slight improvement over last week. After the weekend rains, reporters expect to see a more marked improvement over the next week. Hay supply is rated at 18 percent very short, 20 percent short, 58 percent adequate, and 4 percent surplus. The rain was too late to help early grass hay yields, thus, hay supply is still a concern. Stock water supply is rated 12 percent very short, 27 percent short, 58 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus. Reports in the central district indicate some improvement in water supply, but elsewhere the soaking rain produced little runoff and left ponds critically low, especially in the southwest and northeast districts.

Weather Summary

Temperatures were near normal for the week, averaging slightly below normal in northern districts, while the Bootheel was slightly warmer than the long-term average. Rainfall averaged 2.48 inches for the week. The lightest total fell in the east-central district at 1.41 inches, while the heaviest total was recorded in the southwest district at 4.77 inches. Several southwestern counties reported over 5 inches, including Bates, Barry, McDonald, and Newton. Dunklin County was hit with severe storms twice during the week, with hail damaging field crops and doing severe damage to the peach crop.

Missouri Summary for Week Ending April 30, 2006
    This Year Last Year Normal    
Days Suitable For Fieldwork days 3.6 3.0 N/A    
Ground Worked , Spring Tillage % 84 80 74    
Corn Planted % 90 71 68    
Corn Emerged % 58 42 40    
Soybeans Planted % 13 6 6    
Cotton Planted % 44 38 30    
Rice Planted % 87 52 46    
Rice Emerged % 51 13 16    
Sorghum Planted % 24 11 16    
Winter Wheat Headed % 64 17 22    
Alfalfa Hay, 1st Cutting % 4 0 0    
Other Hay Cut % 2 0 0    
    Very Short Short Adequate Surplus  
Topsoil Moisture Supply % 3 14 73 10  
Subsoil Moisture Supply % 12 38 48 2  
Supply of Hay & Other Roughages % 18 20 58 4  
Stock Water Supplies % 12 27 58 3  
    Very Poor Poor Fair Good Excellent
Winter Wheat Condition % 3 13 29 47 8
Pasture Condition % 13 25 36 22 4