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2007 Weather in Review

The spring season was most notable for a hard freeze that hit in April followed by flooding that beset certain regions in May. The Easter weekend freeze saw record low temperatures severely damage the state’s fruit and nut crops, with total losses in some areas, while also doing varying degrees of damage to the wheat crop as it was breaking dormancy. The first cutting of alfalfa was very short, while pasture grass growth was delayed significantly. The weather warmed the remainder of the month, but rains slowed planting. As of April 30, corn planting was 45 percent complete, 2 weeks behind normal. Repeated rounds of heavy rain caused severe flooding during the second week of May. Tens of thousands of acres were submerged, mostly along the Missouri River and its tributaries. Damage was sustained to homes, buildings, terraces, fences, ditches, and fields. Dry weather enabled rapid planting progress the second half of the month. Farmers finished planting corn on the normal pace, although emergence was slowed by significant replanting. Soybean planting overcame a slow start to finish May near the average pace. The Bootheel saw the cotton and rice crops planted and emerged ahead of average. First cutting hay yields were short due to the April freeze and an army worm infestation in some central and southern districts.

Warm temperatures and timely rainfall during June maintained fair to good crop conditions in the western two-thirds of the state, while substantial dryness developed in the eastern districts. Emergence problems were reported for soybeans in the driest areas, while dryland crops suffered in the Bootheel. Soaking rainfall at the end of the month stabilized conditions in the east, but excessive rainfall in certain west-central and southwestern counties caused flooding and crop damage. July was quite dry, although moderate temperatures and moisture reserves from June helped corn through pollination and kept soybean condition stable. Wheat harvest was completed by late July except for fields affected by flooding. Dryness continued into August and heat arrived, producing two weeks of 100+ degree temperatures in most of the state. Pastures and crops were stressed until heavy rains finally brought relief late in the month. However, the rains missed several counties along the eastern and southern edges of the state, including all of the Bootheel, where severe drought was ongoing.

Moving into September, corn harvest was underway in all districts, including 62 percent already harvested in the Bootheel as of September 2. With the exception of moderate to heavy rain the third week of October, the fall season was mostly dry, allowing steady progress of row crop harvest and wheat planting. Corn harvesting losses were abnormally high in many northern areas due to lodging from high winds during late summer storms. The row crop harvest finished at or ahead of normal, with good yields in most areas. Hay production varied by district, but was higher than each of the previous two years at the state level. Farmers made up for the slow start after the freeze with good second grass cuttings in the fall. By November, short hay supplies were a concern in some eastern and south-central counties, but the remainder of the state was mostly adequate in hay and stockwater supplies.