Corn and soybean harvest in Kentucky and Tennessee made good progress last week as growers put the finishing touches on the 2008 crops.

Here’s how the state USDA/NASS field offices reported the situation for the week ending Nov. 2.

Kentucky

Cool conditions prevailed throughout the Commonwealth last week. As of Sunday, Nov. 2, topsoil moisture was rated as 40 percent very short, 36 percent short and 24 percent adequate. Subsoil moisture was rated 55 percent very short, 34 percent short and 11 percent adequate.

The Commonwealth experienced below normal precipitation last week, and rainfall totaled 0.00 inches, which was 0.73 inches below normal. The lack of rain in some areas continued to cause concern.

Temperatures for the week averaged 49 degrees, 4 degrees below normal and 4 degrees cooler than the previous week.

Conditions were favorable for field work as there were 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork. Main farm activities for the past week included seeding wheat, harvesting corn and soybeans, and stripping tobacco.

The corn harvest was nearly complete at 96 percent as of Sunday, Nov. 2. Harvesting progress was behind last year’s 99 percent, but equal to the five year average.

As of Sunday, Nov. 2, 79 percent of the soybeans were harvested, compared to 81 percent last year and 71 percent for the five year average. Farmers reported mixed yields for double-cropped soybeans.

Stripped tobacco condition was reported as 8 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 49 percent good, and 10 percent excellent. Twenty six percent of burley tobacco had been stripped, behind last year’s 33 percent, and 31 percent for the average.

Wheat seeding was 85 percent complete, above last year’s 76 percent and above the five year average of 71 percent. Condition of the emerged crop was rated 9 percent poor, 23 percent fair, 60 percent good, and 8 percent excellent.

Pastures were rated 43 percent very poor, 32 percent poor, 19 percent fair, and 6 percent good. Pastures were not supplying adequate nutrients for livestock following a very dry season. Moisture continued to be a concern.

Tennessee

Considerable cotton and soybean harvest progress was made last week, as producers took advantage of seven days of dry weather to continue fall activities. Cotton harvest, at 86 percent, was running well ahead of the normal pace.

Soybean producers made excellent progress as an additional 16 percent of the acreage was harvested last week.

Farmers also had a great week for winter wheat seeding. Almost 20 percent of the wheat acreage was planted last week with overall progress on schedule. A fifth of the planted acreage has already emerged.

Tobacco farmers were busy stripping leaves, but lag over two weeks behind the normal schedule.

With some livestock producers beginning to provide supplemental feed, hay stocks were rated in mostly adequate-to-short supply. Cattle were rated in mostly good-to-fair condition.

As of Friday, topsoil moisture levels were rated 6 percent very short, 31 percent short, 62 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels were rated 17 percent very short, 41 percent short and 42 percent adequate. Temperatures across the state last week were about 5 to 10 degrees below normal. Rainfall was well below normal across the entire state.

COUNTY AGENT COMMENTS

"Farmers continue to make progress in harvesting corn (yields continue to be very good 175 plus bushels per acre). Soybeans have not begun in full swing yet to get harvested. High moisture in beans continues to keep harvest at a slow pace." Steve Glass, Decatur County

"Another good week of harvesting soybeans and seeding wheat. Producers have made the most of good weather and improved soil moisture conditions this week. All harvesting and seeding should be finished by next week." Jeff Lannom, Weakley County

"Killing freeze ended growth of johnsongrass and bermudagrass. Winter weeds filling in thin spots in pastures. Some hay feeding where pastures are poor." David K. Glover, Smith County

"Wednesday's freeze caught a few late acres of beans not quite ready, but for the most part, late beans were ready. Early bean harvest is done. Last week's freeze finished readying double-crop beans. Yields have ranged from 10-40 bushels on the wheat beans with 15-25 being the most common yield range reported." Ed Burns, Franklin County

"Additional seeding of winter grains was accomplished with the slight improvement in moisture. The first county-wide frost/freeze occurred this week as soybean harvest continued. Hay feeding has begun on some livestock farms. Also, livestock watering sources have become a critical issue for some producers with the continued effects of the drought." John Wilson, Blount County

"A week without rain has been good for crop harvest with corn harvest essentially complete and soybean harvest current with maturity of late planted beans behind wheat. Dry weather has burley tobacco stripping at a standstill. Numerous livestock producers are supplementing poor and depleted pastures with hay and several are hauling water for livestock as available water is becoming a problem across the county. Fall seeded forage crops are up to very poor stands due to the dry weather with most planned seeding on hold until the moisture situation improves." Bob Sliger, Monroe County