Larry Warren was out last week planting double-crop soybeans into a wheat field in north-central Missouri. He brought along a helper, a fourth-generation young farmer, his grandson Matthew Warren.
Warren, a retired pilot, was finishing up a small corner piece along state Highway 36. His son, David Warren, was harvesting wheat a few miles away. Larry says the wheat looks good, pushing up into the 60-bushel-per-acre range on some of the fields. But it was being out in the tractor with his grandson that makes up for the trying year for many farmers in this northern region of the state.
The area received persistent rainfalls, ranging from 8 to 16 inches in the month of June through the first week in July, according to the Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network, or CoCoRaHS, Mapping System.
Many rain events came in the form of flash flooding, pushing creeks out of their banks and inundating already planted cornfields. Young soybean plants sat in rain-soaked fields. Some farmers lost complete fields, while others chose to replant.
The rains stopped, and the summer heat set in during early July. Many of the rolling hills are dry and cracked. There is no doubt that across a wide swath running west of Macon, there are varied stands within a field.
Winter wheat harvest has been delayed. According to the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, the crop was 66% harvested, compared to the five-year average of 85%.
Farmers were busy putting up both the wheat crop and wheat straw across much of mid-Missouri.
Click on the photo gallery to see how crops are faring, as well as the work still being done on Missouri farms.