The weather is turning seasonally dry in Tennessee as some concerns are being expressed in major cotton and soybean areas about proper development.
However, for the week ending Aug. 26, topsoil moisture supplies were rated 57 percent adequate or surplus, a level much better than the 29 percent five year average and last year’s 44 percent.
A good general rain throughout the state is needed to maintain or improve the cotton and soybean crops from their current standing of fair-to-good condition.
The corn for grain harvest picked-up momentum last week and was proceeding at a pace just shy of two weeks ahead of normal.
Pastures look good, but armyworms are reported to be a problem.
Topping tobacco is about complete and harvest lags slightly behind schedule.
Topsoil moisture levels were rated 11 percent very short, 32 percent short, 55 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels were rated 18 percent very short, 39 percent short, 42 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus. Temperatures and precipitation averaged below normal across the state.
County agent comments
“Corn harvest is in full swing. Having some trouble moving grain at elevators due to Mississippi River being so low.”
Tim Campbell, Dyer County
“Corn harvest is well under way with most farmers at over 50 percent completion. For soybeans and cotton, once again, we are in need of much needed rain. Some of our beans are maturing and will not have complete pod fill for lack of rain. Cotton is looking good for the most part with several fields opening.
Cattle pastures are dry and farmers are feeding hay. Again, as it’s been for majority of the summer, we need rain. Cattle are still in good shape.” J.C. Dupree, Jr, Lauderdale County
“The farmers in Fayette County have been busy this week harvesting corn. Next week we will start some defoliation of some cotton. All crops look a lot better after receiving cooler temps and needed rainfall.” Jeffery Via, Fayette County
“Dry weather and warmer temperature have soybeans and pasture land under intense stress. Corn harvest continues. Some excellent dry land corn yields have been reported as well as some complete disasters. A small acreage of early maturing soybeans was harvested this week with good yields reported.” Jeff Lannom, Weakley County
“A dry week allowed farmers to make a lot of progress harvesting corn and putting up hay. Early week reports of fall armyworms feeding on pastures and hayfields was the topic of conversation throughout the week. The infestations were found all across the county and primarily found in warm season grass pastures and hayfields.” Calvin Bryant, Lawrence County
“A rain free week aided corn harvest as farmers have removed about a third of the crop. Crop moisture continues to be slow drying. Producers took advantage of the dry week to harvest hay. Soybeans and cotton continue to progress toward excellent potential yields. Insect and disease pressure is light. Soybean looper populations are building and a few reports of isolated sudden death syndrome.” Ed Burns, Franklin County
“Corn silage harvest is nearing completion. Second-cutting hay harvest met with favorable weather this week. Cooler temperatures brought slight improvement to pastures. The dry season has prompted several producers to check forage crops for excess nitrate levels.” John Wilson, Blount County
“Lots of hay baled this week. Winter supplies should be adequate but not a lot of surplus. Big improvements seen for burley tobacco potential yields. Soybeans have vastly improved.” Mannie Bedwell, Hamblen County
“We are good still with moisture, but are drying quickly. We need some significant rain to keep us good. We still have a lot of late planted corn and beans that need water. Pastures good for the most part, but much of our fescue stands are greatly diminished due to the drought.” Neal Denton, Knox County