Another week of mostly dry weather cooperated with fall fieldwork, keeping the harvest pace of most major crops ahead of normal. Topsoil moisture supply rates 35 percent very short, 35 percent short, 29 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. The northeast, west-central, central, east-central and southwest districts are all rated more than 80 percent short to very short in topsoil moisture. There were 6.1 days suitable for fieldwork.
The corn harvest is 88 percent complete, 8 days ahead of last year and 12 days ahead of the normal pace of 79 percent. Progress by area ranges from 64 percent harvested in the northwestern district to virtually complete in the southern two-thirds of the State. Ninety-six percent of the soybeans are dropping leaves or beyond, with 85 percent mature, slightly ahead of last year and a few days ahead of normal. Condition of the soybean crop is rated 6 percent very poor, 15 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 40 percent good, and 6 percent excellent, a minor deterioration from last week’s evaluation. The soybean harvest is 56 percent complete, 3 days ahead of last year and 1 week ahead of the 5-year average of 42 percent. All districts made significant progress, ranging from 13 to 23 percentage point advances. Only the west-central at 42 percent, the south-central at 25, and the southwest at 18 lag last year’s pace and are also the only districts below 50 percent harvested. Seventy-one percent of the sorghum crop is harvested, about even with last year and 4 days ahead of normal. Eighty-nine percent of the rice crop has been harvested, about 1 day behind last year but 1 week ahead of normal. Ninety-five percent of the cotton crop is opening bolls, 3 days behind both last year and the average. Condition of the crop is reported as 1 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 65 percent good, and 5 percent excellent, a modest decline from a week ago as reporters are still trying to get a handle on the severity of flood damage. Cotton harvest activity was significant during the week, advancing 22 points to 44 percent complete, 5 days behind last year and 2 days behind normal. Forty-eight percent of the winter wheat crop for next year has been planted, 1 day ahead of last year and 4 days in front of the normal pace. Wheat emergence of 16 percent is slightly behind last year and the 5-year average. A few scattered reports indicate wheat emergence is struggling due to dry soils.
Pasture condition rates 36 percent very poor, 27 percent poor, 25 percent fair, 11 percent good, and 1 percent excellent. An increasing area of the State is becoming very concerned with hay shortages, rising hay prices, and stock water shortages. Livestock producers in many areas are struggling to maintain their herds in the face of two consecutive drought years.
Temperatures averaged below normal by 6 to 8 degrees in most areas, with a few scattered counties mostly in the southeast 2 to 4 degrees below average. Rainfall was light, averaging 0.35 inches. Some rain moved in late in the week to give the northwest, north-central, northeast, and west-central districts better than one-half inch, but all other districts received very little rainfall.
|District Summaries As Of October 15, 2006|
|Days Suitable For Fieldwork|
|Topsoil Moisture Supply|
|Corn Harvested, Percent|
|Soybeans Mature, Percent|
|Soybeans Harvested, Percent|
|Sorghum Mature, Percent|
|Sorghum Harvested, Percent|
|Winter Wheat Planted, Percent|
|Winter Wheat Emerged, Percent|