Despite some relief from a shower that moved through the state earlier this week, almost all of Missouri needs more rain. All but two-and-a-half counties in the state are running a precipitation deficit, and rain over the next couple of weeks is critical, particularly if the temperatures climb into the 90s, according to Dr. Jon Hagler, the Missouri Director of Agriculture.
“The same is true with our hay,” said Hagler in an interview with Brownfield Ag News Thursday, “when you look at the hay situation, a lot of people’s hay is not turning out the way it has the last couple of years, and they’ve sold a lot of hay, so certainly it’s something we’re watching. It’s a concern as we go across the state and hopefully, knock on wood, we’ll get some rain here and everything will turn out all right.”
It’s early enough in the season for effective recovery if rain comes soon, Hagler points out, but some parts of the state are harder hit than others.
“The Boot Heel’s been particularly hard hit,” said Hagler. “Those places that are irrigating are irrigating early; those that are not irrigating have really suffered from the intense heat, particularly a few weeks ago when we had that flash heat when it was coming in above 90 degrees.”
Rain amounts earlier this week ranged from about .4” to just over 1.5”, said Hagler.