Farmers were active with tillage, fertilizing and corn planting during the week ending April 11, as 5.2 days were suitable for fieldwork, according to the Missouri Agricultural Statistics Service, April 12.

A majority of the ground in the southeast district that is intended for spring crops has been worked at least once. Progress of tillage in the rest of the state is less advanced but compares favorably with past years. The topsoil moisture supply was reported as 1 percent very short, 13 percent short, 78 percent adequate and 8 percent surplus. The northwest, south-central and southeast districts are the driest areas with ratings of 20 percent or more being short of moisture, while the west-central district is the only area showing as much as 20 percent surplus.

The corn crop is 31 percent planted, two days ahead of last year and five days ahead of the five-year average of 20 percent. Planting continues to be the most advanced in the southeast district with 87 percent in the ground, while the northeast and east-central districts are least advanced with 9 percent planted. Light rain and cooler weather at the end of the week slowed the generally rapid pace of planting. Farmers are waiting for warmer weather before planting cotton, sorghum or soybeans.

Condition of the winter Wheat is rated as 1 percent very poor, 2 percent poor, 23 percent fair, 63 percent good and 11 percent excellent, a minor improvement from a week earlier and above the rating of 5 percent poor, 32 percent fair, 51 percent good and 12 percent excellent a year earlier. Weevil damage in alfalfa fields has been reported in some southern and western counties.

Pasture condition is reported as 5 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 52 percent good and 6 percent excellent, similar to a week ago but well above the low ratings of the past two years at this time. Reporters in the areas with the poorest pastures indicated that more moisture and warmer weather is still needed before rapid growth occurs but pastures in most areas are beginning to provide a good feed supply for this time of year.

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