Arkansas Field Reports: Drought Hitting Pastures Hard

    Crop Progress and Condition for the Week Ending July 8, 2018.

    Comments from Cooperative Extension Service County Agents

    Mike McClintock, Boone County
    “The drought continued in Boone County. Ranchers were starting to cull their cow herds due to lack of pasture growth and poor hay production.”

    Russ Parker, Crittenden County
    “Growing season reached the hot and dry phase. Most crops have received at least one irrigation. Insect pressure has been light in all crops. Cotton has fared very well with favorable weather since planting. Corn is maturing rapidly. Condition of soybeans is varied with some abiotic concerns.”

    Olivia Foster, Carroll County
    “It is incredibly dry in Carroll County. Optimistically, hay yields are 50% of normal with chances looking poor of getting a second cutting. Ponds and streams are drying up. Producers are selling cattle that they had not intended to sell and shipping in hay and grains from wherever they can find them. The body condition scores of livestock are decreasing rapidly.”

    Bob Powell, Yell County
    “Parts of Yell County received a much needed rain with totals up to 3″, but other parts of the county remained extremely dry. We have already had some cattle farmers reduce their herd size because of poor pasture and hay conditions.”

    Brent Griffin, Prairie County
    “Farmers continued irrigation with surface water depletion nearing. Non-irrigated or untimely irrigated crops are showing severe stress from heat and moisture. Rice began to head, and corn started reaching dent stage. Pastures and hay fields are depleted with hay being fed. Worms are beginning to show up in soybeans and pasture.”

    General Comments

    According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service in Arkansas, there were 6.6 days suitable for fieldwork for the week ending Sunday, July 8, 2018. Topsoil moisture supplies were 21 percent very short, 39 percent short, 38 percent adequate, and 2 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were 15 percent very short, 47 percent short, 38 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus.

    Low temperatures ranged from 67.0 degrees Fahrenheit at Lead Hill to 76.1 degrees Fahrenheit at Des Arc and Pine Bluff. Highs ranged from 86.6 degrees Fahrenheit at Winslow to 97.0 degrees Fahrenheit at Prescott. Light precipitation was scattered throughout the State, with the highest concentration occurring in the southwest part of the State with an average of 0.96 inch.

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