Farm Progress

Kentucky, Tennessee soybean harvest moves ahead

October 30, 2008

5 Min Read

Kentucky growers received some much needed rainfall last week as the main farm activities were seeding wheat, harvesting corn and soybeans, and stripping tobacco.

Meanwhile, Tennessee producers took advantage of the continued mostly dry conditions across the state to make excellent progress with crop harvest. With five days suitable for fieldwork, soybean producers continued harvest activities at a normal pace.

Here’s how the state USDA/NASS field offices reported the situation for the week ending Oct. 26.


Much needed rainfall arrived last week across Kentucky. As of Sunday, Oct. 26, topsoil moisture was rated as 36 percent very short, 41 percent short and 23 percent adequate. Subsoil moisture was rated 51 percent very short, 37 percent short and 12 percent adequate. The Commonwealth experienced above normal precipitation last week, and rainfall totaled 0.95 inches, which was 0.29 inches above normal.

Temperatures for the week averaged 53 degrees, 2 degrees below normal and 9 degrees cooler than the previous week. There were 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork.

Main farm activities for the past week included seeding wheat, harvesting corn and soybeans, and stripping tobacco.

The corn harvest continued with 93 percent of the corn crop combined as of Sunday, Oct. 26. Harvesting progress was still behind last year’s 98 percent, and equal to the five year average. Lodging of the crop continues to slow harvest.

As of Sunday, Oct. 26, 65 percent of the soybeans were harvested, compared to 72 percent last year and 62 percent for the five year average. Soybean condition was rated 6 percent very poor, 20 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 33 percent good, and 13 percent excellent.

Stripped tobacco condition was reported as 1 percent very poor, 7 percent poor, 37 percent fair, 46 percent good, and 9 percent excellent. Twenty-two percent of burley tobacco had been stripped, equal to last year and the five year average. Some farmers report their tobacco weighing light and being light in color.

Wheat seeding was 62 percent complete, slightly behind last year’s 63 percent and slightly above the five year average of 61 percent. Condition of the emerged crop was rated 1 percent very poor, 10 percent poor, 36 percent fair, 45 percent good, and 8 percent excellent.

Pastures were rated 37 percent very poor, 35 percent poor, 22 percent fair, and 6 percent good. Pastures were not supplying much food nutrients for livestock following a very dry season.


Tennessee producers took advantage of the continued mostly dry conditions across the state last week to make excellent progress with crop harvest. Although a cold front moved across the state bringing some beneficial rains, farmers were able to complete over three-fourths of the cotton acreage by week's end, ahead of the 5-year average. With 5 days being suitable for fieldwork, soybean producers continued harvest activities at a normal pace.

Moisture received last week aided germination in recently seeded wheat fields and over-seeded pastures.

Other activities during the week included spreading lime, feeding hay and stripping tobacco.

As of Friday, topsoil moisture levels were rated 6 percent very short, 23 percent short, 68 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus. Subsoil moisture levels were rated 17 percent very short, 39 percent short and 44 percent adequate. Temperatures across the state last week were about 1 to 3 degrees below normal. Rainfall was above normal across all of Tennessee this past week.


"Harvest progressed very well this past week. Most soybean yields turning out much better than expected, ranging from 40 to 60 bushels, except for wheat beans. However, wheat bean yields reported are 25 to 35-plus bushels. Cotton yields have been very good ranging from 2 to 3 bales of lint cotton per acre." Tim Campbell, Dyer County

"The farmers in Fayette County were busy harvesting cotton and beans while it was dry, but were halted when a shower moved through in the middle part of the week." Jeffery D. Via, Fayette County

"Rains Thursday night and Friday totaled around 2.5 inches. This helps pond and stream levels as well as soil moisture levels. Almost all of the corn has been harvested and reported yields are wide ranging. Soybeans continue to be harvested and their yields are disappointing. Cattle are in relatively good body condition and the hay supply appears adequate unless we have a long, hard winter." Richard Groce, Maury County

"More seasonable temperatures followed by a good rain to end the week. Temperatures returned to more seasonable for the week with patches of frost at the first of the week. Soybean producers are finishing up single-crop bean harvest and beginning to harvest wheat beans. Cotton harvest is in full swing with about 60 percent of the crop harvested. Cooler temps and moisture have kept cool season grasses growing and providing grazing. Warm season grasses have stopped growth due to temperatures. Most producers feel they have adequate hay stocks provided weather does not force feeding above normal levels." Ed Burns, Franklin County

"On Friday, a welcome rain of 0.30 to 0.50 inch was seen over the county. With a mostly dry week, progress was made on the grain harvest and land preparations for seeding of winter grains. Some livestock ponds continue to go dry and pastures are still very short. Delayed planting of fall-seeded forages should commence with this week's rain." John Wilson, Blount County

"Pastures are very short due to extremely dry fall. Approximately one half inch of rain this past week has provided some short-term benefit to pastures." Chris Ramsey, Sullivan County

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