Despite spotty showers that came with the hot and humid conditions around Kentucky last week, more than half of the state is considered to be in the "abnormally dry" stage, according to the latest information from the U.S. Drought Monitor.
This is not welcome news as farmers try to get soybeans and tobacco planting finished and late-planted corn off to a good start. The June 22 report from the NASS Kentucky field office indicated the corn crop was rated as 17 percent fair, 57 percent good and 22 percent excellent.
Soybean planting stood at 80 percent complete, slightly ahead of last year’s progress and near the five-year average of 84 percent. For those planting soybeans behind their wheat crops, only 35 percent of the state’s wheat had been harvested as compared to the five-year average of 50 percent.
The soybean crop is in good shape so far and was listed as 18 percent fair, 62 percent good and 16 percent excellent, as of last week’s NASS report. Wheat conditions are remaining steady, with the crop rated as 22 percent fair, 53 percent good and 17 percent excellent.
Ninety percent of the Kentucky tobacco crop had been planted as of last week. The condition is listed as 17 percent fair, 66 percent good and 13 percent excellent. The average height of the plants was 14 inches, according to NASS.
The drier conditions may be playing in the favor of tobacco producers as long as soil moisture was adequate during planting. The report noted: "Topsoil moisture was rated 4 percent very short, 20 percent short, 66 percent adequate and 10 percent surplus.
Subsoil moisture was rated 3 percent very short, 18 percent short, 72 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus."
The hay harvest continues, although there are reports of reduced yields.
By Tim Thornberry