Warm and mostly dry weather during the week brought modest deterioration to row crop and pasture conditions. Any rainfall that benefited crops and grasses was very localized. Farmers are looking for a soaking rain, an event that has been absent from most areas for the past month. Even so, corn and soybean condition ratings are slightly better than last year at this time, a year that saw above average yields. Crops at most risk from continued dry weather are late-planted corn in northern areas, especially the northeast, and dryland corn and soybeans in the southeast. Concerns about hay supply and pasture condition are spreading from the north into most other districts as well. Topsoil moisture fell 15 points from last week in the adequate and surplus categories to 20 percent very short, 44 percent short, and 36 percent adequate. Every district experienced a decline. There were 6.7 days suitable for fieldwork.
The corn crop is 94 percent silked, 2 days behind last year and even with normal. Fifty percent is in dough stage, about 2 days behind last year and the five-year average of 55 percent. Eight percent is dented compared to 12 percent as normal. Conditions in the western two-thirds of the state were mostly steady, but the three eastern districts showed significant declines. The northeast, east-central, and southeast dropped by 12, 8, and 11 points in good to excellent. Counties in the northeast along the Illinois border are especially showing stress, with one reporter describing second ears aborting and shrinking kernel depth. Overall, condition is rated 3 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 30 percent fair, 44 percent good, and 14 percent excellent, a drop of 4 points. Sixty-four percent of the soybean crop is blooming, nearly the same as the 5-year average. Twenty-nine percent is setting pods, marginally ahead of normal. Soybean condition dropped 6 points from last week in the good to excellent categories, rated 4 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 36 percent fair, 43 percent good, and 7 percent excellent. Like corn, the biggest declines in condition were in the three eastern districts. The greatest concern is for double-crop soybeans in the Bootheel, where one report indicated plants are starting to wilt and die on light, sandy soil. Also vulnerable are several thousand acres of soybeans planted very late in the west-central district after flooding. Sorghum heading is at 53 percent, 5 days behind last year and slightly behind normal. Seven percent is turning color, the same as average. Sorghum condition is rated 1 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 38 percent fair, 52 percent good, and 4 percent excellent, steady from last week. Rice heading advanced considerably to 50 percent, at least 5 days ahead of last year and normal. Rice condition is rated 1 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 16 percent fair, 55 percent good, and 26 percent excellent. Cotton squaring is complete, while 77 percent is setting bolls, 2 days ahead of normal. Cotton condition is rated 4 percent very poor, 16 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 46 percent good, and 5 percent excellent. Second-cutting alfalfa is 95 percent harvested, while the third cutting is 25 percent done, 1 week behind normal. Other hay is 95 percent cut compared with 97 percent as normal.
Pasture condition is rated 6 percent very poor, 21 percent poor, 41 percent fair, 27 percent good, and 5 percent excellent, a decline of 7 points in good to excellent. Conditions are worst in the southeast district, where only 1 percent is in good or excellent condition, and the northeast at 11 percent. Meanwhile, condition fell 16 points in the west-central district, as the effects of severe flooding in early July have taken their toll. Cattle producers in the worst areas are concerned about both availability and price of hay.
Temperatures were 1 to 4 degrees below normal over most of the state but 2 to 3 degrees above normal in the northwest. Rainfall averaged 0.24 inches, ranging from .05 in the southeast district to .52 in the northwest.
|District Summaries As Of July 29, 2007|
|Days Suitable For Fieldwork|
|Topsoil Moisture Supply|
|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|