Soybean harvest in Kentucky and Tennessee reached the half way point last week as fairly open weather prevailed over the two states.
In Kentucky, 48 percent of the soybean crop was harvested and that compared to 63 percent at the same time last year and 47 percent for the five-year average.
Tennessee soybean growers also made good harvest progress as the crop’s condition continued to be rated fair-to-good.
For an overall look at the soybean picture in the two states, as well as other crops, here’s the report from the USDA/NASS state field offices for the week ending Oct. 19.
As of Sunday, Oct. 19, topsoil moisture was rated as 45 percent very short, 44 percent short and 11 percent adequate. Subsoil moisture was rated 60 percent very short, 36 percent short and 4 percent adequate. The Commonwealth experienced below normal precipitation last week. Rainfall totaled 0.23 inches, which was 0.43 inches below normal. Temperatures for the week averaged 62 degrees, 4 degrees above normal and 3 degrees cooler than the previous week.
There were 5.6 days suitable for fieldwork.
Main farm activities for the past week included seeding wheat, harvesting corn and soybeans, and stripping tobacco.
The corn harvest continued with 85 percent of the crop combined as of Sunday, Oct. 19. Harvesting progress was still behind last year’s 97 percent, and 88 percent for the five year average. Lodging of the corn crop has continued to slow the harvest.
As of Sunday, Oct. 19, 48 percent of soybeans were harvested, compared to 63 percent last year and 47 percent for the five year average. Ninety-seven percent of soybeans have dropped leaves, compared to 99 percent last year and the five year average of 98 percent. Soybeans reaching the mature stage were 81 percent, compared to last year’s 93 percent, and the five year average of 91 percent. Soybean condition was rated 4 percent very poor, 19 percent poor, 31 percent fair, 30 percent good, and 16 percent excellent.
Stripped tobacco condition was reported as 7 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 49 percent good, and 7 percent excellent. Sixteen percent of tobacco had been stripped, equal to last year and the five year average. Some farmers report their tobacco weighing light.
Wheat seeding was 36 percent complete, behind last year’s 49 percent and 43 percent for the five year average. The winter wheat crop condition was rated 11 percent poor, 38 percent fair, 46 percent good, and 5 percent excellent.
Pastures were rated 42 percent very poor, 35 percent poor, 19 percent fair, and 4 percent good. Fifty-eight percent of producers reported they will have an adequate supply of hay for this winters feeding.
With five days of mostly mild and dry weather conditions, farmers took advantage to continue harvest of their fall crops. Despite a cold front moving through the state last week bringing light showers, producers were wrapping up corn harvest and over half of the cotton acreage is now harvested, slightly ahead of the 5-year average.
Soybean producers also made good harvest progress with almost half of the state's acreage now out of the field. The crop's condition continues to be rated fair-to-good.
Additionally, a fifth of the winter wheat acreage had been seeded by week's end.
Other activities last week included stripping tobacco, applying fertilizers and feeding hay.
As of Friday, topsoil moisture levels were rated 6 percent very short, 33 percent short, 59 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels were rated 23 percent very short, 39 percent short and 38 percent adequate. Temperatures across the state last week averaged 3 to 5 degrees above normal. Rainfall amounts across Tennessee averaged slightly below to below normal.
COUNTY AGENT COMMENTS
"Corn harvest has progressed well. There are still a few acres of late planted corn remaining to be harvested, but will probably be completed by the first of next week. Soybean harvest has gotten under way in full swing. Rapid progress is being made between a couple shower fronts passing through the last two weeks. Reported soybean yields are turning out better than they appeared in the field from earlier planted soybeans. Some wheat bean yields remain lower. Cotton harvest is progressing rapidly as well as producers are trying to take advantage of dry harvest conditions between rain showers. Cotton yields are turning out better than expected considering our dry year." Tim Campbell, Dyer County
"Producers made good progress in harvesting soybeans with over one-half of the county's acreage out of the field. Yields are still in the 25-35 bushel range with some locations running into the low 40s. Wheat producers started seeding their crop this week before a slow rain on Thursday halted all field work. Approximately .3 to .5 inches of much needed precipitation was received county wide." Jeff Lannom, Weakley County
"The light, scattered rainfall we received this week has greatly helped the cool season crops planted this fall. The cooler daytime temperatures are allowing the soil moisture to remain for longer periods. Cool season pasture grasses are greening up again." David Cook, Davidson County
"The week started off with above average temperatures and ended with a cold front that produced about 0.2 inch of rain and more seasonable temperatures. The corn is in the bin and soybean producers are beginning to finish up early beans and waiting for double-crop beans to dry down. Cotton harvest is in full swing with early yield reports ranging from 600 to 1,000 pounds per acre. Cooler temperatures and moisture have cool season pastures looking better; producers are able to do some fall seeding." Ed Burns, Franklin County
"The area received 0.10 to 0.25 of an inch of rain on Wednesday, not enough to help. Crop producers are taking advantage of the dry weather to make good progress with corn and soybean harvest. Yields are quite varied depending on planting date, maturity group and area of the county. Early fall seedings of forage crops have resulted in poor stands due to lack of soil moisture. Most seeding plans are on hold until the soil moisture situation improves. Available water for livestock continues to be a major concern. Some producers are supplementing poor and depleted pastures with hay, while others are reducing herd numbers." Bob Sliger, Monroe County