Kentucky growers were winding down their planting of double-crop soybeans last week, and with recent rains, germination was taking place rapidly.
In Tennessee, the state’s major row crops were developing behind both last year and the five-year average, but crop condition ratings remained mostly in the fair-to-good categories.
Here’s how the state’s USDA/NASS field offices reported the overall situation for the week ending July 13.
Kentucky received varying amounts of rain this past week, which improved crop prospects. However, there are some areas of the state that are dry and could use some more rain for good crop development.
Farmers in general commented that the row crops, apples and peaches were looking good throughout the state.
Topsoil moisture was rated as 6 percent very short, 26 percent short, 63 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 9 percent very short, 24 percent short, 62 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus.
There were 4.8 days suitable for fieldwork. Farmers were busy with mowing pastures, cutting hay, baling straw, and other odd jobs around the farm that needed to be done.
As of Sunday, July 13, the tobacco crop condition was reported as 3 percent poor, 23 percent fair, 53 percent good, and 21 percent excellent. About 37 percent of tobacco plants were under 24 inches high, with 41 percent between 24-36 inches in height, and 22 percent were over 36 inches. Farmers were spraying and starting to top their tobacco this past week. The tobacco crop looks good overall with only a few reports of worms in the tobacco.
The corn condition improved with 1 percent rated very poor, 2 percent poor, 14 percent fair, 48 percent good, and 35 percent excellent. Forty-four percent of the corn has silked or was silking as of Sunday, July 13, well behind both last year’s 77 percent and the five-year average of 72 percent. Six percent of the corn was in milk stage or beyond, compared to 28 percent last year and the five-year average of 27 percent. One percent of the corn was in dough stage or beyond, compared to the five-year average of 4 percent. There were minimal reports of disease in the corn.
Farmers are winding down their planting of double-crop soybeans, and with the recent rains they are germinating well. As of Sunday, July 13, 97 percent of the planted soybeans had emerged, which was behind both last year and the five-year average. Fifteen percent of the soybeans were blooming, significantly behind last year’s 39 percent and the five-year average of 33 percent. Soybean condition improved with 1 percent rated very poor, 7 percent poor, 23 percent fair, 46 percent good, and 23 percent excellent.
Throughout Kentucky pastures and the hay crops continue to look good. Pasture condition was rated 3 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 35 percent fair, 43 percent good, and 11 percent excellent. Hay in the field was rated as 3 percent very poor, 6 percent poor, 30 percent fair, 50 percent good, and 11 percent excellent.
This past week's weather featured two cold fronts which moved through the state beginning on Thursday bringing some much needed rain to most areas.
These showers helped to offset above normal temperatures that reached into the mid-to-high 90s. Additionally, the timely moisture came as the majority of the corn crop was in the crucial pollination phase.
As of Sunday, the state's major row crops were developing behind both last year and the 5-year average. Crop condition ratings remained mostly in the fair-to-good categories.
Tobacco growers began topping their plants last week at a pace slightly ahead of normal.
Other field activities last week included applying fungicides to corn and soybeans, applying growth regulators and insecticides to cotton, and picking vegetables.
There were 5 days considered suitable for fieldwork last week. As of Friday, topsoil moisture levels were rated 11 percent very short, 34 percent short, 53 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels were rated 19 percent very short, 34 percent short, 45 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus.
Temperatures across the state last week were 1 to 2 degrees above normal. Precipitation averaged below normal on the Plateau, but above normal elsewhere.
COUNTY AGENT COMMNETS
"There have been replants due to spotty/skippy stands mostly because of lack of moisture. Beans have been getting fungicide applications along with a surprising amount of corn. Cotton is in pretty good shape overall, but obviously behind due to later planting, with some growth regulator and insecticides being applied. The tomato crop has shaped up rather nicely this year with a lot being picked at this time." James Griffin, Lauderdale County
"The county had scattered rainfall over the past seven days. Some rain settled the dust while reported rainfall in other areas was close to 1 inch." Kenneth Herndon, Carroll County
"It's amazing what a little moisture, actually a lot of moisture, can do! Conditions changed drastically over the past week as significant rainfall fell across the entire county. Soybeans really jumped out of the ground and are all emerged. About a quarter of the tobacco crop has been topped." John Bartee, Montgomery County
"Crops and pastures are doing well in areas that have gotten rain. The rest need rain as they are showing signs of drought stress. Some second cutting of hay is under way. The hay supply is much improved compared to last year, but many farmers are hoping for a second cutting to have the amount they need for the winter. Cattle condition looks fair to good." Richard Groce, Maury County
"Decent rainfall over the past week has led to improved pasture and hay conditions. This year's corn crop is one of the best in recent years and will certainly benefit from the much needed rain." Chris Hicks, Van Buren County
"Parts of our county experienced flash flooding earlier in the week, and the entire county has received a welcome rain over the past several days. Rainfall totals are about 3 inches for the week." Jonathan Rhea, Jefferson County