Crop Progress: Corn Belt thirsts for rain

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Corn is progressing quickly thanks to the dry and hot temperatures, and though many states are desperate for rain, crop conditions are remarkably positive and slightly improved from last week’s report. The USDA’s latest Crop Progress report showed progress in each of the 18 reporting states.  

Corn emerged: 97 percent
With corn planting a distant memory, emerged corn is quickly moving forward. With just three percentage points of corn remaining to emerge, next week’s report should show progress in corn silking. This week’s report puts the 2012 corn season 5 percentage points above last week’s report and 22 percentage points ahead of 2011’s pace.

Eleven of the 18 producing states are at or above the national average, while just three states – Colorado (89 percent), Pennsylvania (62 percent) and Wisconsin (87 percent) – below the 90 percent mark.

Conditions improve slightly
Seventy-two percent of corn has been rated in “good” to “excellent” condition. While it is same percentage as last week’s report, the ratings shifted by 2 percentage points from good to excellent, marking slightly improvement this week. Three states reported the highest percentages of crops in “poor” to “very poor” condition – Missouri (14 percent), Kentucky (13 percent) and Tennessee (12 percent). Texas reported just 3 percent of corn in “poor” to “very poor shape,” marking a comeback from last year’s drought.

The USDA’s Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin reported that few areas in and around the Corn Belt saw much rain last week, despite Tropical Storm Beryl’s drenching along the Gulf and Mid-Atlantic Coasts. Temperatures in the central and southern Great Plains, Corn Belt and Ohio Valley averaged more than 10 degrees Fahrenheit above normal. However, with the threat of the linger dryness rolling into a significant drought, many experts anticipate lower yields due to crops damaged by heat stress.

Soybean planting finished, emerging almost there
Ninety-four percent of soybeans have been planting, and 79 percent have now emerged. Farmers can thank Mother Nature for the opportunity to progress quickly from last week. Soybean planting is 31 percentage points ahead of last year’s pace, and emerged soybeans are 40 percentage points above 2011.

Soybean conditions, the first report of the year, showed just 6 percent of the nation’s soybeans in “poor” to “very poor” condition. Sixty-five percent of soybeans are in “good” to “excellent” condition. Doane Agricultural Services said in their midday report that a lack of adequate rainfall over the key production regions and lower yields due to inadequate soil moisture levels remains a concern for new crop beans.



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