Dry weather leading to early signs of drought stress

As dry weather continued, soil moisture decreased and crops began to show signs of drought stress, according to Cheryl Turner, State Statistician, USDA NASS, Ohio Field Office. Topsoil moisture decreased from 75% adequate or surplus last week to 53% adequate or surplus this week. In addition to dry weather slowing the emergence of soybeans and corn, crop condition worsened. Average temperatures for the week were approximately 2 degrees below historical normals, and the entire state averaged close to zero inches of precipitation. There were 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending June 21.

The drier weather did allow farmers to cut hay and continue other field activities, including planting, spraying herbicides, and sidedressing corn. Winter wheat was maturing, with reporters anticipating the start of harvest in one or two weeks. Armyworms continued to be a problem in wheat fields. Soybean planting progress reached 98%, ahead of the five-year average by 8 percentage points. Corn emerged was ahead of the five-year average by 4 percentage points at 95%. Fifty-six percent of corn was considered good or excellent and 70% of pasture and range was considered good or excellent compared to 46% the previous year.

For more from this week’s report, click here.

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