FOREST GREEN, Mo. — On a warm spring day in Chariton County, Mitchell Rice was cultivating. The earth was working up nicely and the late-April breeze pushed the aroma of freshly worked ground across the field. At last, spring was in the air.
Rice stopped to check his tractor and cultivator. Corn planting was wrapping up after a busy week.
“We finished up planting corn today,” Rice said April 27, “and we’ll start planting beans tomorrow.”
Cold weather delayed the start of planting season.
“We started on Monday (April 23),” he said. “Some started the day before.”
Despite the progress, planting was still lagging behind.
“We’re about two weeks behind,” Rice said.
Still, the clear, warm weather was allowing for a lot of catching up.
“It’s working as good as it ever has,” he said.
Rice, who grows corn and soybeans in North Central Missouri, was feeling positive heading into another growing year.
“I’m always optimistic,” he said. “You have to be. We put our faith in God and just do our best.”
According to the USDA’s Missouri Crop Progress and Condition report released April 30, Missouri’s corn planting progressed 36 percent during the last week of the month, up to 52 percent complete. That was about in line with the five-year average of 51 percent complete.
Missouri’s soybean crop was 5 percent planted in the April 30 report.