Drier conditions across the state allowed for farmers in my area to not only work up the ground, but also fill the seed boxes.
I live roughly 5 miles from the Missouri River in the southwestern edge of Warren County. So, it took just a quick drive down the road before I was met with dust flying. Farmers in this area were in the fields by April 5. Most were completing some much needed spring tillage. Still, with the sandier soils closer to the river, I spotted a few pulling a planter.
Unfortunately, it was short-lived as spring rains moved in the second week and shut down much fieldwork. Still, it appeared to lift the mood across the countryside. Finally, after enduring a drought, they can start over. There are times when a farmer sits down in the seat of that tractor cab that his whole countenance changes. He is once again in his element. He or she once again has that sense of unyielding optimism for the growing season ahead.
According to the Missouri Agriculture Statistics Service, corn planting is just 4% complete across the state, 4 days behind normal. However, at least somewhere in all of the nine crop reporting districts, there were planters rolling. The southeast tops the greatest planted acres, accounting for 20% of its corn acres.
Topsoil moisture that was running at 74% adequate, receive a boost with the recent rains. Subsoil moisture is also adequate in most areas of the state. However, the wet weather is causing a delay in spring tillage, with just 25% reporting activity, compared to last year at 61%.
Farmers were not only planting corn last week, farmers in the northwest and south-central districts hit the fields to sow a few acres of sorghum.
MASS also reported that the winter wheat crop was rated 1% poor, 26%fair, 63% good, and 10% excellent.
Driving through the countryside it appears our lawns are greening up faster than our pastures. Pasture condition were 16% very poor, 30% poor, 43%fair, and 11% good. And the cooler temperatures this week are not helping the situation. That wild Missouri weather swing of 77 degrees Fahrenheit one day and two days later waking up to wind chills below freezing, is difficult for any plant. Our pastures need warmer weather to spur on growth. Next week does not look to provide any relief, with highs in the 60s and lows in the 40s. But hey, it is Missouri, that weather forecast may, no will, change.