A stretch of mostly open weather allowed Kentucky and Tennessee growers to move ahead with a bountiful wheat harvest, with double-crop soybean planting following close behind.
With 78 percent of the wheat crop harvested, Kentucky officials were optimistic near-record yields could be reached. In Tennessee corn development lagged more than a week behind the normal pace, with twisting stalks reported in some areas due to dry conditions.
Almost all the single-crop soybeans have been planted in Kentucky, while 67 percent of the double-crop beans have been seeded. In Tennessee soybeans were being sown behind the wheat combines with less than a tenth of the acreage remaining to be planted.
Here’s how the two state USDA/NASS field offices reported the overall situation for the week ending June 29.
Showers were received at week’s end, but more rain is needed in central and western parts of the state. Topsoil moisture was rated as 10 percent very short, 31 percent short, 56 percent adequate, and 3 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 7 percent very short, 28 percent short, 60 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus.
There were 5.6 days suitable for fieldwork.
Farmers were busy this past week with small grain harvest, spraying crops, planting double-crop soybeans and cutting hay.
As of Sunday, June 29, the tobacco crop condition was reported as 2 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 50 percent good, and 16 percent excellent. About 59 percent of tobacco plants were under 12 inches high, with 29 percent 12-24 inches in height, and 12 percent were over 24 inches. Tobacco is doing well overall with only minimal disease or insect problems reported.
Corn condition was rated 4 percent poor, 18 percent fair, 55 percent good, and 23 percent excellent. Ten percent of the corn has tasseled or is tasseling, compared to last year’s 35 percent and the five-year average of 33 percent. Seven percent of the corn has silked or was silking as of Sunday, June 29, behind both last year’s 39 percent and the five year average of 30 percent. Lack of rain and drying winds were the main concerns regarding the corn crop. There were very few reports about insect or disease damage.
As of Sunday, June 29, almost all the single crop soybeans had been planted at 99 percent, just behind the 100 percent reported last year but ahead of the five-year average of 97 percent. Sixty-seven percent of double-crop soybeans have been planted compared to 76 percent last year and the five-year average of 71 percent. All soybeans planted was 91 percent, behind last year’s 98 percent and the five-year average of 94 percent. Eighty-four percent of the soybeans have emerged which was behind last year’s 97 percent, but equal to the five-year average of 84 percent. The average height of emerged soybeans was 8 inches. Soybean condition was rated 1 percent very poor, 5 percent poor, 22 percent fair, 55 percent good, and 17 percent excellent.
Double-crop producers are looking for rain to facilitate planting in wheat fields and help with seed germination.
Wheat harvest continues just ahead of last year and average with 78 percent of the crop harvested. A year ago, 75 percent had been harvested and the five-year average is 76 percent. Early reports remain extremely positive with yields approaching state record levels.
Barley harvest was 93 percent complete compared with 100 percent last year and the five-year average of 98 percent.
About 84 percent of the sorghum acres had been planted as of Sunday, June 29 compared with 99 percent a year ago and the five-year average of 96 percent.
Pasture condition was rated 1 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 34 percent fair, 44 percent good, and 11 percent excellent.
Tennessee farmers took advantage of hot, dry conditions last week to push their wheat harvest near completion. Over a quarter of the acreage for grain was combined last week, ahead of the five-year average.
Soybeans were being sown behind the wheat combines with less than a tenth of the acreage remaining to be planted. Nearly four-fifths of the crop was emerged and was rated in mostly good-to-excellent condition.
As of Sunday, corn development lagged over a week behind the normal pace with twisting stalks reported in some areas due to dry conditions.
Despite a large jump from the previous week, cotton was still developing nearly two weeks behind normal.
Less than five percent of the state's tobacco is left to be transplanted. Some black shank has been observed in burley fields.
The first cutting of hay was virtually completed last week with some early second cuttings being reported.
There were six days considered suitable for fieldwork last week. As of Friday, topsoil moisture levels were rated 12 percent very short, 37 percent short, 50 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels were rated 15 percent very short, 29 percent short, 54 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus.
Temperatures across the state last week averaged 1 to 2 degrees above normal, as precipitation averaged below normal.
COUNTY AGENT COMMENTS
"Wheat harvest is progressing well. Reported yields from producers are well above average ranging from 50 to 100+ bushels per acre. Soybean planting is progressing rapidly. All crops are beginning to show signs of drought stress in some areas of fields, especially in sandy soil type areas. We are beginning to need rain badly. Insect pressure remainS light at this time." Tim Campbell, Dyer County
"Warm, dry weather has helped producers harvest the majority of the wheat crop with soybeans planters following closely behind. Producers are also making post-emerge herbicide applications to soybeans with light insect infestations being treated. The corn crop varies widely in development with corn being found just re-planted to early pollination stage. Southwestern corn borer moth trap counts are low, indicating we are between the first and second generation of this insect." Jeff Lannom, Weakley County
"Wheat harvest is wrapping up with very good yields, and soybeans following wheat need rain to germinate. Tobacco and corn look good but are beginning to need rain. Pastures are starting to take a downturn without moisture. If it does not rain soon, this picture looks all too similar to last year." Jason Evitts, Trousdale County
"About half the corn crop is silking and shaping up to be a good crop. Soybeans are coming on, but there is concern among some farmers that soil conditions are dry following wheat. The first cutting of tall fescue has ended with the second cutting of bermuda grass well on the way." Matt Webb, Marion County