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Fall weather perfect for crop harvests

Fall weather perfect for crop harvests
Tennessee farmers made significant harvest progress during last week’s dry fall weather.  Corn and tobacco harvests at week’s end were winding down while soybean and cotton harvests were in high gear, even though progress lagged behind normal and last year’s rapid pace.  The cotton and soybean crops were rated mostly in good-to-excellent condition.
Other activities last week included wheat and forage seeding, cutting hay, applying lime, and defoliating cotton.  
Also, tobacco growers are beginning the stripping process in preparation for marketing. Pasture growth has slowed due to dry conditions.
There were 7 days suitable for fieldwork across the state.  Topsoil moisture levels were rated 3 percent very short, 30 percent short, 66 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.  Subsoil moisture levels were rated 8 percent very short, 28 percent short and 64 percent adequate.  Temperatures averaged near normal across Tennessee last week.  Rainfall averaged below normal across the state.
“An excellent week of harvest weather has allowed producers to accelerate soybean and cotton harvest.  Producers are moving back and forth between corn and soybeans to allow additional drying time for corn.  
“Lime applications are being made and field work is ongoing in preparation for wheat seeding,” Jeff Lannom, Weakley County extension agent, noted.
Eight-eight percent of corn has been harvested for grain, 2 percent up from the five-year average of 86 percent.
Bolls opening on cotton is at 93 percent, defoliated cotton is listed at 86 percent and 32 percent of cotton has been harvested nearing the five-year average of 36 percent.
Eighty-two percent of soybeans have dropped leaves and 29 percent have been harvested.
 Nineteen percent of winter wheat has been seeded.
Ninety-one percent of tobacco has been harvested, 8 percent has been stripped and 94 percent has been dark fire-cured harvested.
Sixty-one percent of the cotton crop is in good condition. Forty-three percent of pastures are in fair condition and 48 percent of soybeans are in good condition.
The high temperature for the week was 85 degrees with a low of 39 and an average of 65.
No precipitation was recorded last week and the inch total remains at 51.74 inches since Jan. 1.

WCP 10.13.11

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