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Severe weather plagues Midwest farmers

Missouri-Kansas Crop Progress: Corn and soybean growers wait on drier days to get back in the field for planting.

Mindy Ward, Editor, Missouri Ruralist

May 31, 2024

11 Slides

Editor’s note: From May 31 through harvest Farm Progress is tracking crop conditions at Fordyce Farm in Missouri and Noll Farm in Kansas. Check back every Friday for the latest or follow along the #Grow24 journey on Facebook and Twitter.

Severe weather kept Midwest farmers out of the fields, but many are ahead of planting schedule.

In northwest Missouri, Renee Fordyce wrapped up #Grow24 planting for corn and soybeans with plants emerging.

“Stands are looking pretty good, but we've had some severe weather – hard rains and wind-- that have taken a toll on this young crop.”

But it was not only the crop that took a beating at Fordyce Farms near Bethany, Mo.

“We’ve had structure damage to buildings, a hay barn roof, large trees and fertilizer tanks,” the Missouri Soybean Association president, says.

If the rain lets up, Fordyce plans to start mowing hay and pasture ground in the next week or two.

“What we need is a few back-to-back days with a little more warmth which would make the crops look better quickly,” she adds.

Meanwhile in Kansas

There’s no shortage of work between the rains for Alex Noll in northeast Kansas.

He says that while no one in his area is wishing the rain away, there aren’t enough hours in the few and far between days it is dry enough to get in the field.

Related:#Grow24 underway at Missouri’s Fordyce Farms

“At the end of last week, over the weekend and into the last week of May we’re scouting spraying, top dressing,” Noll, who farms in Jefferson County, says. “It will be a zoo for the next several days.”

Click through the above photo gallery as Fordyce and Noll share a look at their crop progress and a few management techniques.

Quick USDA-NASS planting stats (as of May 28)


  • Corn planted 85%, emerged at 68%.

  • Soybeans planted 55%, emerged at 34%, behind 5-year average.

  • Winter wheat headed was 94%, ahead of 81% last year.

  • Sorghum planted 24%.


  • Soybeans planted at 55%, emerged reached 40%, behind 2023.

  • Corn planted reached 87%, emerged 70%.

  • Winter wheat harvested for grain reached 2%.

About the Author(s)

Mindy Ward

Editor, Missouri Ruralist

Mindy resides on a small farm just outside of Holstein, Mo, about 80 miles southwest of St. Louis.

After graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural journalism, she worked briefly at a public relations firm in Kansas City. Her husband’s career led the couple north to Minnesota.

There, she reported on large-scale production of corn, soybeans, sugar beets, and dairy, as well as, biofuels for The Land. After 10 years, the couple returned to Missouri and she began covering agriculture in the Show-Me State.

“In all my 15 years of writing about agriculture, I have found some of the most progressive thinkers are farmers,” she says. “They are constantly searching for ways to do more with less, improve their land and leave their legacy to the next generation.”

Mindy and her husband, Stacy, together with their daughters, Elisa and Cassidy, operate Showtime Farms in southern Warren County. The family spends a great deal of time caring for and showing Dorset, Oxford and crossbred sheep.

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