Timely and very welcome rain fell statewide during the week, with soaking rains in many counties that improved both crop and pasture conditions. Topsoil moisture supplies likewise improved, rated 20 percent very short, 38 percent short, 40 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus, which is 22 percentage points above last week in the adequate and surplus categories. Soil moisture was distinctly improved in southern areas, although all but the southeast district are far from replenished. Consequently, timely rain will still be needed to continue pasture improvement and maintain row crops during reproductive stages. There were 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork.
Corn silking is at 85 percent, 1 day ahead of a year earlier and 5 days ahead of the 5-year average of 77 percent. Twenty-two percent of the crop is in dough stage, about even with both last year and the normal pace. The bulk of the crop was able to escape extreme heat during pollination, but needs rain to fill out ears. Condition of the crop is 2 percent very poor, 7 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 55 percent good, and 11 percent excellent, an improvement of 5 percentage points in good to excellent. Forty-five percent of the soybeans are blooming, 1 day behind last year but 5 days ahead of average. Pod setting is at 9 percent, 2 days behind last year but 2 days ahead of normal. Condition of the bean crop is rated 2 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 47 percent good, and 6 percent excellent, a slight improvement over last week. Sorghum heading is at 24 percent, nearly the same as both last year and average, while 1 percent is turning color. Condition of the crop is rated 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 27 percent fair, 60 percent good, and 8 percent excellent. Seven percent of the rice crop is headed, 5 days behind last year and 4 days behind average. Rice condition continues to progress well at 2 percent poor, 14 percent fair, 58 percent good, and 26 percent excellent. Cotton squaring is at 89 percent, behind last year by a few days, although setting bolls, at 45 percent complete, is ahead of last year by a few days. Cotton condition is rated 6 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 57 percent good, and 5 percent excellent, a significant improvement over a week ago. The second cutting of alfalfa is 91 percent complete, even with last year and 1 week ahead of average. The third cutting is 15 percent harvested, a few days behind last year but a few days ahead of average. Other hay is 94 percent cut, about the same as last year and slightly ahead of normal.
Pasture condition is rated 22 percent very poor, 30 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 15 percent good, and 1 percent excellent. Heavy rains in southern counties provided runoff to partially refill ponds, while improved pasture growth should reduce the need for supplemental hay feeding. Central and northern areas, however, are still in dire need of rain for livestock water supplies.
Temperatures were near normal for most counties, although some southern areas were 2 to 3 degrees below average. Nearly every county received close to an inch or better of rainfall, with a statewide average of 2.04 inches. Prolonged downpours in the south-central district dumped over 6 inches in some counties and caused localized flash flooding. Notable amounts include 7.77 inches in Carter, 7.40 in Ripley, 6.33 in Shannon, and 5.58 in Texas.
|District Summaries As Of July 16, 2006|
|Days Suitable For Fieldwork|
|Topsoil Moisture Supply|
|Corn Silked and Beyond, Percent|
|Corn Dough Stage and Beyond, Percent|
|Soybeans Blooming and Beyond, Percent|
|Soybeans Setting Pods and Beyond, Percent|
|Sorghum Headed and Beyond, Percent|
|Alfalfa Hay 3rd Cutting, Percent|
|Other Hay Cut, Percent|