Extreme heat was the dominant feature of the week. Moisture from the previous week was quickly sapped, although it did help sustain row crops through the hot days. Corn, soybeans, and sorghum conditions declined only slightly, while Bootheel cotton and rice actually improved. Pastures continue to suffer. Topsoil moisture supplies are 24 percent very short, 42 percent short, and 34 percent adequate. Only the southeast district has over 50 percent adequate to surplus topsoil moisture supply. There were 6.1 days suitable for fieldwork.
Corn silking is at 89 percent, 3 days behind last year but slightly ahead of normal. Thirty-seven percent of the crop is in dough stage, slightly behind both last year and the normal pace. Most of the crop was pollinated before the heat wave was in place, allowing fields to escape with only a minor drop in conditions. The crop rates 3 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 26 percent fair, 53 percent good, and 10 percent excellent, a decline of 3 percentage points in good to excellent. Soybean blooming is at 58 percent, 2 days behind last year but 5 days ahead of average. Pod setting is at 18 percent, 2 days behind last year but 1 day ahead of normal. Condition of the bean crop is rated 3 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 46 percent good, and 6 percent excellent. Sorghum heading has reached 50 percent, 1 day ahead of last year and 5 days ahead of normal, while 6 percent is turning color, 3 days ahead of both last year and normal. Condition of the crop is rated 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 58 percent good, and 9 percent excellent. Twenty-four percent of the rice crop is headed, 2 days behind last year but 3 days ahead of average. Rice condition continues to progress well at 2 percent poor, 11 percent fair, 57 percent good, and 30 percent excellent. Cotton squaring is at 94 percent, behind last year by over 1 week and 5 days behind normal. Cotton setting bolls jumped ahead 32 percentage points to 77 percent complete, over 1 week ahead of both last year and the normal pace. Condition is rated 5 percent poor, 31 percent fair, 57 percent good, and 7 percent excellent. The second cutting of alfalfa is nearly wrapped up at 97 percent complete, while the third cutting is 31 percent harvested, slightly behind last year but 5 days ahead of normal. The other hay harvest is also nearing completion at 95 percent cut, about even with last year and average.
Pasture condition is rated 24 percent very poor, 34 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 13 percent good, and 1 percent excellent. Isolated areas saw pastures green up from rainfall, but most counties experienced a continued decline in pasture condition. Producers in the driest areas are feeding hay and hauling water to compensate for limited grass growth and dry ponds. Cattle were under stress during the extremely hot days.
Temperatures were 3 to 5 degrees above average in the northern half of the State, while southern areas were 1 to 2 degrees above normal. Extreme heat was present for much of the week, with highs over 100 degrees at several locations, including 107 degrees at Versailles and 105 degrees at Green Ridge. A general lack of rainfall exacerbated temperatures and combined with high humidity to create heat indices well above 100 degrees in many areas. Rainfall averaged 0.38 inches for the week. The northwest district received 0.93 inches, but all other districts received about one-half inch or less, including 0.09 in the west-central, 0.05 in the central, and no measurable precipitation in the southwest.
|District Summaries As Of July 23, 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|
|Sorghum Turning Color and Beyond, Percent|
|Alfalfa Hay 3rd Cutting, Percent|
|Other Hay Cut, Percent|