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Tennessee crop progress

Cotton growers in the Volunteer State during the last week in July continued to fear the crop would suffer from a lack of heat units because of unusually cool weather it has had this summer. But while they and other farmers worried over cool weather and too much rain, other farmers needed rain for their crops, according to NASS’s weekly crop progress report.

Despite the variable weather throughout the state, farmers had six days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 27. The majority of crops continued to be in good condition, with most progress keeping close to five-year averages.

"The farmers in Fayette County have been busy spraying pests. Other activities included adding fertilizer to milo. Hay harvest is taking place. Crops look good for the most part. Many acres were lost to flooding," said Jeff Via, Fayette County extension agent.

"Everything is benefiting from the light rains. The corn crop is shaping up very nicely. Rains have caused considerable late plantings in soybeans. The cotton crop just simply needs some warmer weather," reported agent Walter Battle of Haywood County.

"A dry week across the county allowed some soybean producers a chance to replant fields with poor stands. Fungicide has been applied to some full-season soybeans and herbicide applications are being made to soybeans planted behind wheat. Corn is moving toward maturity, with many producers excited about yield prospects," Jeff Lannom, Weakley County agent, said.

"Lack of adequate rainfall and high temperatures during the last three weeks has depleted the topsoil and subsoil moisture levels. Pastures are showing signs of moisture stress," reported David Cook of Davidson County.

"Rains continue, but amounts vary greatly. Showers and storms the first half of the week produced from less than a half-inch to as much as 2 inches in isolated areas. Temperatures continue to be cooler than normal. Soybean producers are busy applying herbicides to double-crop beans and finishing fungicide applications to single-crop beans. Single-crop beans range from R3 to R6; wheat beans are early vegetative to R1," stated Ed Burns of Franklin County.

The NASS report stated Tennessee’s topsoil moisture levels for the week were 3 percent very short, 21 percent short, 71 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels were rated 2 percent very short, 20 percent short, 73 percent adequate and 5 percent surplus.

By Tesa Nauman

Tennessee Correspondent