NASS concludes, ‘rain needed in near future to prevent crop losses’

Agricultural Summary
Unlike last year, dry weather lingered across the state with 6.5 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supply continued a steep decline to 32 percent very short, 45 percent short, and 23 percent adequate. The south-central district was only 1 percent adequate, followed by the southeast district with only 10 percent adequate. All districts had crops experiencing some drought- induced stress. Rain is needed in the near future to prevent crop losses.
Field Crops Report
Corn emerged was 98 percent, 19 days ahead of last year, and one month ahead of normal (5-year average). The northeast reported corn replanting. Corn condition was 2 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 31 percent fair, 51 percent good, and 8 percent excellent. Soybeans planted 81 percent, 19 days ahead of 2011, and 26 days ahead of normal. Emergence was 53 percent, 15 days ahead of last year, and 16 days ahead of normal. Northern districts struggled to emerge due to the drought. Southern districts stopped planting soybeans due to lack of moisture. Cotton planted was 97 percent, 6 days ahead of last year, and 3 days ahead of normal. Cotton condition was 5 percent very poor, 20 percent poor, 45 percent fair, 29 percent good, and 1 percent excellent.  Rice condition was 5 percent poor, 31 percent fair, 59 percent good, and 5 percent excellent.
Sorghum planting was 79 percent, 21 days ahead of last year, and 24 days ahead of normal.  Condition was 1 percent very poor, 11 percent poor, 48 percent fair, 37 percent good, and 3 percent excellent. Winter wheat turning color was 94 percent, 17 days ahead of last year, and 23 days ahead of normal. Wheat harvested was 14 percent, 18 days ahead of last year, and 20 days ahead of normal. One third of wheat in the south-central and southeast districts was harvested. Winter wheat condition was 2 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 24 percent fair, and 51 percent good, and 14 percent excellent. Alfalfa hay 1st cutting was 87 percent, 25 days ahead of last year, and 30 days ahead of normal.  Alfalfa hay 2nd cutting was 7 percent, 18 days ahead of last year, and 22 days ahead of normal.  Other hay cut was 58 percent, 25 days ahead of last year, and 27 days ahead of normal. Hay re-growth has been slow, or delayed, from lack of moisture.
Pasture & Livestock
Pasture condition continued to decline to 11 percent very poor, 17 percent poor, 39 percent fair, 28 percent good, and 5 percent excellent. Some south-central producers began to reduce herds and sell calves early due to the water shortage and pasture conditions.
Weather Summary
Temperatures averaged 6 to 12 degrees above normal, while precipitation averaged only 0.18 of an inch statewide.

– National Agricultural Statistics Service

Related story

‘Flash drought’ threatens crops

Climatologists and farmers are calling it a “flash drought” – a quick burst of dry heat that’s parching plants and threatening the state’s crops.
“It’s rapidly emerging across the state,” said Pat Guinan, the University of Missouri extension’s state climatologist. “It started in the Bootheel, but over the past, two or three weeks, much of Missouri has seen negligible rain. We’ve had a lot of above-normal temperatures, low humidity and lots of sunshine. The moisture has just evaporated out of the vegetation.”
The conditions are threatening the state’s vulnerable, young corn crop, and could mean a tough summer for all crop producers, as well as cattle ranchers and dairy farmers.
“If it stays dry for the next two to three weeks, we’re going to see some die-offs,” Guinan said.
Temperatures across Missouri were 4 to 6 degrees above normal and rainfall south of Interstate 70 is below normal for the first half of May. The Bootheel is already experiencing moderate to severe drought, but those conditions are creeping northward.

– Sources:  MO-AG Minute, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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