Hot, dry weather is hastening the maturity of row crops, but causing a general decline in condition, particularly for soybeans.

Topsoil moisture supply is rated as 30% very short, 36% short, 33% adequate and 1% surplus according to the Missouri Agricultural Statistics Service Sept. 5.

The percent of top soil rated as very short increased 21 points from last week. Areas with the driest conditions include the northwest, west-central, southwest and south-central districts, all with moisture ratings of 80% or more short or very short.

An average of 6.7 days were suitable for fieldwork.

Thirty-eight percent of the soybean crop is turning color and 13% is dropping leaves. Development is about a week ahead of last year and 10 days ahead of normal. Soybean condition is rated as 4% very poor, 11% poor, 30% fair, 43% good and 12% excellent. Soybeans rated as poor or very poor have increased 5 percentage points from last week while the percent of soybeans rated good to excellent has decreased 11 points. Some reporters indicated soybeans are dropping leaves prematurely and not filling pods as well as expected.

The corn crop is 96% in the dent stage or beyond, 62% mature and 15% harvested. Development is 13 days ahead of normal. Percent of the corn harvested ranges from about 6% in the Northwest district to 47% in the Southwest and Southeast districts. Corn condition is 2% poor, 19% fair, 55% good and 24% excellent, down slightly from last week.

Cotton condition is rated as 6% poor, 34% fair, 53% good and 7% excellent, up slightly from a week ago. Forty-nine percent of the cotton has begun opening bolls, five days ahead of normal.

Eighty-five percent of the sorghum crop is turning color or beyond and 44% is mature, 13 days ahead of normal. Condition of sorghum is 1% very poor, 6% poor, 26% fair, 55% good and 12% excellent. Ninety-five percent of the third crop alfalfa has been cut, 10 points ahead of normal and 15 points above last year.

Pasture is rated as 22% very poor, 24% poor, 32% fair, 19% good and 3% excellent. Pasture growth has been sharply reduced due to hot weather and lack of rainfall in most areas.

Temperatures ranged from five to 11 degrees above average. Weekly rainfall averaged 0.04 inch, ranging from none in the southwest and southeast to 0.12 inches in the south-central district.

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