Farmers dodged light showers during the week, using 3.4 days suitable for fieldwork to conduct tillage and apply fertilizer to pastures, hay ground, and wheat. Corn planting has begun in southern areas. Thirty-three percent of tillage on ground intended for spring crops has been completed, ranging from 11 percent in the northeast district to 57 percent in the southeast. Soil moisture levels are in good shape across the state for the start of spring planting. Topsoil moisture rates 2 percent very short, 12 percent short, 74 percent adequate, and 12 percent surplus, moderately better than last year at this time. All districts rate 80 percent adequate to surplus, except the south-central at 56 percent in those categories.
Corn planting is 3 percent complete for the state, with most activity in the three southern districts. The Bootheel is 13 percent complete, while the southwest and south-central are each at 5 percent. The Bootheel has also seen some early rice put in the ground, with 1 percent of the crop planted by week's end. Winter wheat condition for the state is rated 1 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 51 percent good, and 14 percent excellent. Most fields appear to have come out of winter in good shape and have grown well under favorable early spring weather.
Pasture condition is reported 2 percent very poor, 15 percent poor, 49 percent fair, 30 percent good, and 4 percent excellent. Most pastures appear healthy, having greened up earlier than normal due to warm temperatures. The current condition is substantially better than last year at this time, but most reporters are cautious about evaluating grass growth this early in the season. There is some concern about how pastures will respond after two years of drought in central and southern areas.
Temperatures were much above average in all areas of the state, ranging from 10 to 14 degrees above normal. Rainfall for the week averaged 0.51 inches. Only the southeast district averaged more than 1 inch at 1.17 inches.