When the last NASS report was issued, Kentucky had not seen sufficient rain in a few weeks and it indicated news of crops becoming stressed due to dry weather. Much-needed rain arrived at the beginning of last week; however, plentiful amounts only came in spotty areas.
The Kentucky Mesonet weather data system recorded over 2 inches of precipitation on July 14 in Clinton County in southern Kentucky – but nearby Warren County only received slightly over one-third of an inch of rain that same day.
The U.S. Drought Monitor reflected this spotty precipitation in its current data. Before the rainy beginning of the week, just over 48 percent of the state was considered to be in the "abnormally dry" category. That percentage fell by only 1 percent after most of the state received what has been the most significant rain of the month (until this past weekend).
Despite the state still being behind in precipitation, crops are in relatively good shape at this point, with the exception of pasture conditions which continue to decline. The latest NASS report noted pastures to be 12 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 41 percent good and only 7 percent excellent.
A week with some marked precipitation should help that situation, as producers wait to make their second cutting of hay.
Kentucky corn is still looking good, with 18 percent of the crop rated as fair, 55 percent good and 22 percent excellent. Soybeans were in equally good shape as of the July 14 NASS report. The crop was rated as 17 percent fair, 62 percent good and 17 percent excellent.
The winter wheat harvest was nearly complete, with 98 percent of the crop harvested, directly in line with the five-year average. Tobacco growers are in good shape for the most part, as a quarter of the crop has reached the blooming stage. There have been some fields requiring irrigation as dry conditions prevail.
Last week the crop was rated as 24 percent fair, 56 percent good and 16 percent excellent.
By Tim Thornberry