Farmers’ fall fieldwork was at full force last week throughout Missouri. Mostly dry weather kept the harvest pace of most major crops ahead of normal.
The corn harvest was 88% complete, as of Oct. 14. This is eight days ahead of last year and 12 days ahead of the normal pace of 79%. Progress by area ranges from 64% harvested in the northwest, to virtually complete in the southern two-thirds of the state.
Some 96% of the soybeans are dropping leaves or beyond, with 85% mature. Bean harvest is 56% complete, three days ahead of last year, and one week ahead of the five-year average of 42%. All districts made significant progress, ranging from 13 to 23 percentage point advances. Only the west-central at 42%, the south-central at 25%, and the southwest at 18%, lag last year’s pace and are also the only districts below 50% harvested.
Grain sorghum - 71% harvested
Rice - 89% harvested
Cotton - 44% harvested
Winter wheat - 48% planted
Of major concern is topsoil moisture. The supply rates 35% very short, 35% short, 29% adequate, and 1% surplus. The northeast, west-central, central, east-central and southwest districts are all rated more than 80% short to very short in topsoil moisture.
Pasture & Livestock
Missouri farmers and ranchers are becoming concerned with hay shortages, rising hay prices, and stock water shortages. Approximately 63% of pastures were rated very poor to poor. Livestock producers in many areas are struggling to maintain their herds in the face of two consecutive drought years.