Pasture conditions improve, corn harvest progresses

Tuesday, September 18, 2007 | 10:59 a.m. CDT; updated 4:03 p.m. CDT, Saturday, July 12, 2008

COLUMBIA — Cool temperatures and widespread rain across the state helped improve pasture conditions in many areas, while farmers continue to make progress harvesting corn, Missouri Agricultural Statistics Service said Monday.

The service said 84 percent of the corn crop is mature, which is about normal but four days behind last year. But harvest is 45 percent complete, slightly ahead of last year and four days ahead of the five-year average.

Farmers in northern parts of the state are reporting variable yields that generally are above to much above expectations in fields that did not have wind damage. Condition is rated 7 percent very poor, 15 percent poor, 31 percent fair, 36 percent good and 11 percent excellent.

Sixty-one percent of the soybean crop is turning color, the statistics service said, which is about normal, while 8 percent is mature, slightly ahead of the average of 7 percent.

Soybean condition is rated 10 percent very poor, 18 percent poor, 38 percent fair, 29 percent good and 5 percent excellent.

Eighty-three percent of the sorghum is turning color and 41 percent is mature, both about a week behind average. Harvest is 13 percent complete, six days behind last year. The crop’s condition is rated 3 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 46 percent fair, 37 percent good and 4 percent excellent.

Rice harvest is 45 percent complete, 10 days ahead of the five-year average. Condition is rated 1 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 15 percent fair, 54 percent good and 28 percent excellent.

The third cut of alfalfa is 93 percent complete, slightly behind the average pace of 95 percent.

Pasture conditions improved 6 percentage points in the good to excellent categories, the service said. Condition is rated 23 percent very poor, 23 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 18 percent good and 1 percent excellent.

Despite improvement, a majority of pastures in all areas range from fair to very poor condition. Livestock water shortages are reported in the northeast, east-central and south-central districts.

Topsoil moisture was rated 22 percent very short, 33 percent short, 43 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.

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