A cold, rainy week with 2.0 days suitable for fieldwork kept farmers out of fields. Spring tillage advanced only 3 percentage points over last week to 48 percent complete, 4 days behind last year and 6 days behind the 5-year average. Warmer and drier weather is needed for fieldwork, but also to assess the crop damage from last week’s freeze. Early evaluations have the worst damage to fruit and nut crops, with a total loss expected in some areas. The extent of damage to the wheat crop is still highly uncertain, with early estimates ranging from mild to severe depending on location. Some corn will need to be replanted, while pasture and alfalfa growth has been nonexistent since the freeze. Topsoil moisture is rated 2 percent very short, 4 percent short, 72 percent adequate, and 22 percent surplus.
Corn planting is 18 percent complete, about 1 week behind last year and the normal pace of 41 percent. It appears more fields will need to be replanted than initially thought, especially in the west-central, southwest, and southeast districts where most of the early planting occurred. Corn emerged is at 5 percent, over 1 week behind last year and 3 days behind the 5-year average. Sorghum planting progress remained quite slow, although the state’s completion rate of 4 percent is still slightly ahead of normal. Rice planting has been slowed by rain in the Bootheel, where 7 percent of the crop is planted, 10 days behind last year and 4 days behind normal. Winter wheat condition declined markedly to 20 percent very poor, 37 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 10 percent good, and 0 percent excellent, a decrease of 36 points in the good to excellent categories from last week. A few reporters have already seen farmers plowing up fields to go into another crop, but most are still waiting for a clearer picture of the damage. It appears the far northwest corner of the state received little to no damage since the wheat was not as far along in maturity. Most other areas, however, will likely have moderate to severe damage. Reporters estimate alfalfa and other hay yields will be cut moderately. Pockets of more severe damage are showing up as browning grasses and blackened alfalfa. Fescue seed production may be cut substantially.
Pasture condition is reported as 9 percent very poor, 29 percent poor, 44 percent fair, 17 percent good, and 1 percent excellent, a drop of 13 points in good to excellent. Producers are having to draw on already short hay supplies to feed cattle that have been pulled off dormant pastures.
Temperatures were substantially below normal for the third straight week, generally ranging from 10 to 13 degrees under the long term average. A few central locations were 15 to 16 degrees below normal. Rainfall averaged 1.79 inches for the week. All districts received at least an inch, ranging from 1.09 in the north-central to 2.58 in the west-central.
|District Summaries As Of April 15, 2007|
|Days Suitable For Fieldwork|
|Topsoil Moisture Supply|
|Ground Worked Spring Tillage, Percent|
|Corn Planted, Percent|
|Corn Emerged, Percent|
|Rice Planted, Percent|
|Rice Emerged, Percent|
|Sorghum Planted, Percent|
|Winter Wheat Headed and Beyond, Percent|
|Winter Wheat Condition|