USDA: Corn condition drops 9 percentage points

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Geni Wren | Bovine Veterinarian The current weather pattern is repeating a destructive cycle of excessive heat and few chances at any precipitation, and the USDA showed the impact of the drought in its weekly Crop Progress report. According to the report, corn conditions dropped by 9 percentage points this week, marking the sixth consecutive week of deteriorating conditions. Soybeans weren’t far behind, dropping by 6 percentage points.

Specifically, the percentage of corn in "good" or "excellent condition is now 31 percent, compared to 40 percent last week.

 

Very Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

This week

16

22

31

27

4

Last week

12

18

30

34

6

Last year

4

7

23

50

16

Corn: Silking almost complete, conditions still bad

The report showed that corn silking is now 71 percent complete, well above last year’s pace of 28 percent and up by 21 percentage points from last week’s report. Corn has also been reported in the dough stage in 12 percent of the crops, compared to the five-year average of 4 percent.

The drought has already taken a heavy toll in some states. Three states reported at least 70 percent of their corn in poor to very poor condition: Indiana (71 percent), Kentucky (77 percent) and Missouri (72 percent). These states also struggled in the 1988 drought:   

Indiana:

 

Very Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

July 16, 2012

37

32

21

7

1

July 17, 1988

33

56

11

0

0

Kentucky:

 

Very Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

July 16, 2012

38

39

17

5

1

July 17, 1988

35

49

16

0

0

Missouri:

 

Very Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

July 16, 2012

38

34

21

6

1

July 17, 1988

27

49

18

6

0

 

Nationally, we are slightly better than 1988:

 

Very Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

July 16, 2012

16

22

31

27

4

July 17, 1988

18

32

32

16

2

See how your state is doing here.

There’s little relief in the near future for the crops.

According to Reuters, as much as 75 percent of the Midwest will only receive small amounts of rain this week and early next week.

"There's no huge change in the forecast today, maybe a little more favorable for crops, but we couldn't have gotten much worse," John Dee, a meteorologist for Global Weather Monitoring told Reuters.

AccuWeather.com reported that seed companies claim that compared to 1988, corn varieties are more drought resistant. Unfortunately, even drought-resistant corn needs some rain and a break from the heat to recover.

The stress on even drought-resistant varieties from the central Plains to part of the Upper Midwest may not only result in lower yields by harvest time, but may also bring total crop failures at the local level.

Soybeans: More than half blooming, some now setting pods
Sixty-six percent of soybeans in the nation have now bloomed, and 16 percent have set pods. Both are at least double the progress from 2011. Soybean conditions across the country, however, dropped by 6 percentage points this week:

 

Very Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

This week

10

20

36

30

4

Last week

9

18

33

35

5

Last year

3

7

26

51

13

The USDA reported that at least 50 percent of soybeans were rated in poor to very poor condition in four states – Indiana (57 percent), Kentucky (52 percent), Michigan (50 percent) and Missouri (59 percent).

North Dakota was the only state to report no soybeans in very poor condition.

Despite the grim news, a Reuters report found that there may be more hope for soybeans than for corn.

According to Agricultural Meteorologist Dale Mohler, "Mid July through the end of August is critical time for soybeans, so at least there is more time for recovery with this crop."

The USDA's Crop Progress report was released on the heals of a report from the National Climatic Data Center, which showed that this year's drought is the most severe since the 1950s. Read more here.



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