Abnormally cold temperatures were present throughout the state for most of the week, with subfreezing nighttime temperatures setting back pastures and likely damaging early planted corn, maturing wheat, fruit and nut trees, and vineyards. However, the full extent of the damage will not become evident until warmer temperatures arrive. There were 3.6 days suitable for fieldwork, allowing for some tillage and corn planting before the cold arrived. Forty-five percent of spring tillage has been completed statewide, about 1 day ahead of last year but 2 days behind normal. The state continues to enjoy excellent topsoil moisture levels, rated 2 percent very short, 12 percent short, 73 percent adequate, and 13 percent surplus.
The cold weather allowed corn planting to advance only 3 percentage points over last week to 12 percent complete, trailing last year and normal by a few days. Emerged corn had burned leaves or broke off due to freezing in the worst cases, but with the growing points still below the ground in most fields, long-term damage is not expected. There might be a few cases of replanting in fields with germinating corn and frozen soils. Sorghum planting saw very minor progress in the central and southeast districts, but remained at 2 percent complete for the state overall. Rice planting advanced only 1 point to 5 percent complete, 4 days behind last year but still 1 day ahead of normal. Winter wheat condition for the state is rated 3 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 41 percent fair, 40 percent good, and 6 percent excellent, a drop of 19 points from last week in the good to excellent categories. Most of the decline fell back into the fair rating, as reporters are still unsure of the extent of the frost damage. Wheat at the joint stage of maturity could experience moderate to severe damage.
Pasture condition is reported as 4 percent very poor, 18 percent poor, 47 percent fair, 26 percent good, and 5 percent excellent. The cold stunted grass and alfalfa growth, which will delay the first cutting of hay that is badly needed in some central and southern areas.
Temperatures averaged 9 to 12 degrees below normal over most of the state, while the Bootheel was 6 to 8 degrees below normal. The week started with highs in the 80’s, pulling the weekly average up somewhat, but readings quickly reversed to well below average the remainder of the week. Many areas saw record low temperatures, with lows in the teens as far south as Shannon County in the south-central district. Notable low temperatures included 18 degrees at St. Joseph, 19 at Columbia, 17 at Cook Station in Crawford County, 14 at Alley Spring in Shannon County, and 24 at Clarkton in Dunklin County. Rainfall was very light, averaging 0.33 inches. The range was 0.03 inches in the southwest district to 0.72 in the northeast.
|District Summaries As Of April 8, 2007|
|Days Suitable For Fieldwork|
|Topsoil Moisture Supply|
|Ground Worked Spring Tillage, Percent|
|Corn Planted, Percent|
|Rice Planted, Percent|
|Rice Emerged, Percent|
|Sorghum Planted, Percent|
|Winter Wheat Headed and Beyond, Percent|
|Winter Wheat Condition|