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Wet weather means variable crop stages
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Wet weather means variable crop stages

Crops grow in Boone County on a sunny July day

Crops grow in Boone County on a sunny July day. Farmers and agronomists say the crop has dealt with some heavy rain events in many parts of the state, but yields could still be good depending on conditions going forward. 

After rains and wet fields stretched planting season from April through early July, summer brought some areas of locally heavy rains, but farmers and agronomists say the crop still has a lot of potential.

Speaking on July 8, Nathan Martin, who farms in Boone County, says there were some crops that had to be planted later this year. He had to finish replanting some soybeans in July.

“I just replanted some beans here Tuesday (July 6),” he says. “I’ve got some corn planted in June.”

Martin says due to the rains, planting was a lot of starting and stopping.

“We skipped May,” he says.

The corn crop is in a variety of growth stages.

“We’ve got everything from corn that’s tasseling to corn that was planted just last month,” Martin says.

Weather in the coming weeks will be key, but Martin says the crops could still do well, despite the uneven start.

“If we get some rains, it’ll be OK,” he says.

Rusty Lee, a University of Missouri Extension agronomist based in Montgomery County, says some crops showed signs of too much moisture this year.

“We’ve had some noticeable light color of soybeans, primarily due to saturated soils,” he says. “We picked up some dry weather and that’s improved the color some.”

Lee, who covers several counties in eastern and central Missouri, says some of the rains this summer have come rapidly. He talked with one producer who received 6 inches of rain in a 24-hour period.

“It was over blacktop roads, it was crazy,” Lee says.

The storms also knocked over some corn stalks, although he says it was not an issue on too many acres.

Lee says some fields have seen loss of nitrogen, with variation as to how bad it is from field to field. He says producers might consider top dressing for corn in the earlier stages.

“If you are considering top dressing and your corn is yet to tassel, this might be the year to try that,” Lee says.

The abundant moisture has been helpful for pastures and hayfields, he says.

“Pasture growth has been pretty good,” Lee says. “Cool-season grasses certainly had good moisture, and they had an extended cool-season grazing period. It’s been a good cool-season grass growing season, and a good warm-season grass growing season.”

Producers have been able to put up some hay in the drier windows, as well as getting other summer tasks done.

“Most of the wheat is out, and a good bit of the double-crop beans went in,” Lee says.

He says the key for the crops will be keeping soils dried out enough, adding that saturated soil forces air out.

“We’ll be interested to see what these beans do,” he says. “We need it to dry out a little bit.”

According to the USDA Missouri Crop Progress and Condition report released July 18, the state’s corn crop is 64% silking, compared to 77% at the same point last year and 80% for the five-year average. The Missouri corn crop is rated 9% excellent, 53% good, 29% fair, 7% poor and 2% very poor.

According to the same report, Missouri’s soybean crop is just 33% at the blooming stage, down from 50% at this point last year and 45% for the five-year average. Missouri’s soybean crop was rated 5% excellent, 51% good, 36% fair, 6% poor and 2% very poor.

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Ben Herrold is Missouri field editor, writing for Missouri Farmer Today, Iowa Farmer Today and Illinois Farmer Today.

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