Light, widely scattered rain showers failed to improve soil moisture levels in drier areas of the state, particularly the northern third. However, crop conditions remain mostly favorable statewide. The corn crop showed only a modest decline in condition, as most of the crop is past the critical pollination stage. Soybean condition held steady. The greater concerns in northern areas are the short hay crop and poor pasture conditions. In fact, nearly every district experienced at least some deterioration in pasture condition along with declining soil moisture supplies. Topsoil moisture fell 11 points from last week in the adequate and surplus categories to 10 percent very short, 39 percent short, 50 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. The west-central, central, and southwest districts are mostly adequate to surplus, but all other districts are 42 percent or less in those categories. There were 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork.
The corn crop is 87 percent silked, while 34 percent is in dough stage, both nearly even with normal. Light to moderate stress has been reported in drier northern areas. The north-central district fell 16 points from last week in good to excellent, with the northwest, northeast, and west-central showing less severe declines. The declines more than offset improvements in other districts, resulting in a moderate drop of 4 points at the state level, rated 3 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 27 percent fair, 45 percent good, and 17 percent excellent. Soybean blooming is at 51 percent, the same as the 5-year average. Seventeen percent is setting pods, the same as last year but slightly ahead of normal. Soybean condition is rated 3 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 48 percent good, and 8 percent excellent. Sorghum heading is at 40 percent, about 2 days behind last year but marginally ahead of normal. Three percent is turning color. Sorghum condition is rated 1 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 36 percent fair, 51 percent good, and 6 percent excellent. Rice heading is at 24 percent, 3 days ahead of normal. Rice condition is rated 2 percent poor, 14 percent fair, 60 percent good, and 24 percent excellent. Cotton squaring is at 95 percent, the same as average. Sixty-one percent is setting bolls, slightly ahead of normal. Cotton condition is rated 4 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 51 percent good, and 5 percent excellent. Wheat harvest is complete except for a few scattered fields in the northwest, as well as some fields in the west-central and southwest districts still affected from early July flooding. Second-cutting alfalfa is 88 percent harvested, 5 days behind normal, while the third cutting is 15 percent done, 6 days behind normal. Other hay is 93 percent cut compared with 95 percent last year and normal.
Pasture condition is rated 5 percent very poor, 17 percent poor, 39 percent fair, 31 percent good, and 8 percent excellent, a decline of 3 points in good to excellent. An increasing number of reports across the north are indicating that short hay production and poor pastures are forcing cattle producers into supplemental feeding. If conditions do not improve, some might have to consider liquidating part of their herds. Additionally, the flooding in Bates and Vernon counties destroyed considerable grass acreage.
Temperatures were generally 2 to 3 degrees below average throughout the state with the exception of the northwest corner, which was slightly above normal. Rainfall averaged 0.45 inches, ranging from .07 in the west-central district to .88 in the east-central.
|District Summaries As Of July 22, 2007|
|Days Suitable For Fieldwork|
|Topsoil Moisture Supply|
|Corn Silked and Beyond, Percent|
|Corn Dough Stage and Beyond, Percent|
|Soybeans Blooming and Beyond, Percent|
|Sorghum Headed and Beyond, Percent|
|Alfalfa Hay 3rd Cutting, Percent|
|Other Hay Cut, Percent|