Tennessee row crops are rated in mostly good-to-excellent condition as the dog-days of summer hit, according to the National Agricultural Statistics Service report released Aug. 5.

Cattle also are rated in good-to-excellent condition. Silage harvest has started, and farmers continue to scout fields and apply herbicides as necessary. Even the tobacco crop has turned around from severe wet feet earlier in July.

The soybean crop is blooming and setting pods. Cotton is setting bolls and could use some heat. Corn is mostly in the dough-to-dent stage. Tobacco is being topped and its condition has improved after July rains threatened to swamp it.

Topsoil moisture levels were rated 6 percent short, 81 percent adequate and 13 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels were rated 5 percent short, 89 percent adequate and 6 percent surplus. Temperatures averaged near normal across the state in recent weeks. Rainfall averaged near normal for east Tennessee and the plateau, below normal for middle Tennessee and average for west Tennessee.

County agents chime in on good crops

What county agents say about current crop conditions:

“As of right now, this is excellent weather for all crops. Corn, cotton and soybeans are in great condition, as well as pastures and beef cattle. We should have a good harvest this fall.” — J.C. Dupree, Jr Lauderdale County.

“The farmers in Fayette Co. did some spraying this week but wet conditions kept many out of the fields. We are getting flushes of weeds and insects. Hay producers need a break in the weather to cut and bale hay.” — Jeffery D. Via, Fayette County.

“The rain this week is helping with grain size in the corn, and wheat and beans continue to grow rapidly. Plant bugs are still the big pest in cotton, with stink bugs coming in a close second. It seems like each week we are still fighting the plant bugs even after spraying. Pastures benefited from the rain to help with the re-growth and cattle are still looking pretty good. We need some DD-60′s this coming week to help the row crops.” — Jake Mallard, Madison County.

“Giles County continues to receive rain each week with another inch predicted this week. Many producers with an irrigation system have only used it once or twice this summer.” — Kevin Rose, Giles County.

“Our barns are full and we are stacking hay outside. Pastures are great and corn is probably looking better than we thought a month ago. It’s hard to get hay baled due to the rains.” — Larry Moorehead, Moore County.

“Tobacco has turned around from a month ago. Water damaged tobacco is stunted but is looking much better. Pasture weeds are thriving due to all the rain, herbicides being applied. Other crops look good.” — Jason Evitts, Trousdale County  

For more information on Tennessee row crops, go to http://news.utcrops.com/