Farmers once again struggled to get out into the fields last week due to persistent wet conditions.
Almost half of the farmland in the state is reported as having surplus soil moisture levels. These wet conditions have made for a very slow start with corn, cotton, and soybean plantings falling about two weeks below the five year average.
Corn growth is also being slowed due to the cooler than normal weather for this time of year.
A majority of the wheat crop has headed and some fields were reported to have begun flowering.
Cattle and pastures are in great condition, with only a few farmers having already made their first hay cutting.
Other farm activities this past week included burndown applications and the completion of most fungicide applications.
County agent comments
“Wet weather continues to halt corn and cotton planting. Wheat is looking good despite cool weather. Newly planted corn has emerged, but is off to a slow start. No injury reported due to cool weather. Mississippi River bottom land is flooded. Cattle and pasture ground is in excellent condition.” J.C. Dupree, Jr., Lauderdale County
“This week we have sprayed some burndowns and planted a little cotton and soybeans. Most are waiting on the Friday rains that are headed our way. Most of our wheat has had a fungicide treatment. I hope our conditions change next week so we can resume planting. We are behind. Cattle are looking great and pastures are green.” Jake Mallard, Madison County
“Very limited field work this week. Even with sunshine and 80 degree weather, soils were very slow to dry out. Wheat producers were able to complete fungicide applications for a majority of their acres.” Jeff Lannom, Weakley County
“Seven inches of rain over the last 2 weeks has greatly hampered all field activity. Only a few hundred acres of corn have been planted on some of the upland ground. River and creek bottoms are still saturated. No hay has been cut and no tobacco has been set. To say the least, we are way behind schedule.” Ronnie Barron, Cheatham County
“Corn acres for grain not planted are being shifted to soybeans due to weather delays in planting corn. Most farmers are at the 60-75 percent level of acres intended for corn and have changed plans. Silage corn will most likely continue as planned, percent of corn acres planted reported this week reflects that change.” John Teague, Bedford County
“Rainfall amounts across the county ranged from 1.47-2.94 inches according to reports. Some sunshine mid-week followed by more rain. Row crop producers just cannot get an opportunity to get much done in the field. Corn producers continue to plan for corn acreage, but time is running short. Wheat is reported as headed to flowering. Wheat/small grain haylage harvest is progressing. Pastures are reported as good and cattle are in good condition, although some producers expressed concern that fescue hay fields look thin.” Ruth Correll, Wilson County
“Rain from Saturday through Monday produced between 3.5 to 5.5 inches of rain. Pea size hail on Sunday produced up to 10 inches of ice, most of the accumulations fell in Winchester, no crop damage reported. Showers at the end of the week added an additional half inch, keeping field activity to a minimal. Most of the corn has been planted and has emerged; growth has been slow due to wet and cool conditions. Producers are hoping to finish up next week with drier conditions in the forecast. Ponding water in fields planted has drowned a few acres, less than one percent. Wheat has fully headed and 60 percent of the crop was flowering. Producers have been busy applying fungicides by air and ground. A few acres of soybeans have been planted. Cotton and hay producers hope to get started next week with a drier outlook.” Ed Burns, Franklin County
“Wet weather continues to delay planting and harvesting. Grass hay is maturing quickly and will affect hay quality at the time of harvest. Weather may improve next week and many farmers are anxious to begin hay harvesting and finish planting crops. Strawberries are 2 weeks later than last year, but the crop seems larger.” Jerry Lamb, Rhea County