June 12, 2003

Slow, Wet Spring Becoming Norm For Area Farmers

Rain over most of Missouri last week provided good growing conditions for crops but caused some delays in haying and late crop plantings. The over-all progress of fieldwork compares favorably with recent years.

Days suitable for fieldwork during the past week averaged 3.3, ranging from less than two days in the northeast and west-central districts to five or more days across the southern third of the State.

The topsoil moisture supply was reported as seven percent short, 85 percent adequate and eight percent surplus. Subsoil moisture is rated as three percent very short, 25 percent short, 70 percent adequate and two percent surplus.

Ninety-two percent of the corn has emerged, three days ahead of last year and similar to normal. Corn condition is reported as two percent very poor, four percent poor, 29 percent fair, 54 percent good and 11 percent excellent, virtually unchanged from a week earlier.

Spraying has been necessary to control cutworms and leaf beatles in some corn fields. Seventy-five percent of the expected soybean acreage has been planted, five days ahead of last year and two days ahead of the average of 72 percent.

Bean planting ranges from 36 percent or less complete in the southwest and south- central districts to 85 percent in the north-central and 94 percent in the northwest. Fifty-two percent of the soybeans have emerged, three days ahead of last year but two days behind the average of 57 percent.

Soybean condition is rated as one percent very poor, four percent poor, 36 percent fair, 54 percent good and five percent excellent.

Winter wheat condition is rated as six percent poor, 26

percent fair, 53 percent good and 15 percent excellent, also similar to a week earlier. Seventy-seven percent of the wheat is turning color, slightly later than average, ranging from 25 percent in the northeast district to 98 percent in the southeast.

Damp weather has stimulated the development of leaf rust in some areas but no major damage is expected.

The wheat harvest has generally not begun, compared with three percent last year and six percent for the 5-year average.

Seventy six percent of the first cutting of alfalfa hay has been cut, several days ahead of last

year and nearly equal to normal. The recent rains have improved the outlook for future cuttings. Forty-five percent of other hay is cut, five days ahead of a year ago and close to the normal pace.

Temperatures for the past week averaged six to nine degrees below normal.

Rainfall for the week averaged 1.39 inches, ranging from 0.56 inch in the southeast district to about 1.5 inches or more across the northern third of the State and 2.29 inches in the west-central district.

Scotland County recorded 1.29 inches of rain during the week of June 2 - June 8.

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