Crop conditions continue to slide

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How do you spell plummet?  That is certainly what happened to the crop rating for corn in the past week, as USDA dropped the 2012 corn crop from 56 percent in good to excellent condition to 48 percent good to excellent.  The amount of corn that is now considered in poor to very poor condition increased from 14 percent last week to 22 percent this week nationally.  One month ago, the rating was 72 percent good to excellent and only 5 percent in the poor to very poor category.  The downhill slide is gaining momentum from the Cornbelt blast furnace. 

In Illinois, topsoil moisture is still a major concern for the entire state. It is currently rated at 52 percent very short, 37 percent short and only 11 percent adequate. Corn conditions were rated at 12 percent very poor, 21 percent poor, 41 percent fair, 23 percent good, and 3 percent excellent.  The soybean crop has withstood the conditions slightly better than the corn crop with 11 percent very poor, 20 percent poor, 41 percent fair, 26 percent good, and 2 percent excellent.

In Indiana, several areas of the state experienced record setting heat during the week with temperatures reaching as high as 107 degrees in some southern counties.  This past June was the third driest in Indiana, according to records dating back to 1930, falling only behind 1988 and 1933. Only 1.29 inches of rain fell across the state during June which was just 31 percent of normal precipitation for the month.  62 percent of the soil is listed very short of moisture with 29 percent in the short category, leaving only 9 percent for adequate.  50 percent of the corn is in poor to very poor condition, and only 19 percent good to excellent.  This is the worst condition rating for corn at this time of year since 1988 when none of the crop was rated good to excellent.  Soybeans are rated 43 percent poor to very poor and only 20 percent good to excellent.

In Iowa although it saw precipitation early and again late in the week, the bulk of the week was sunny and hot with record high temperatures experienced in many areas. Additional rain is needed to relieve stress on crops and improve conditions.  Topsoil moisture levels declined to 28 percent very short, 45 percent short, 27 percent adequate, and 0 percent surplus. South Central Iowa is the driest with 91 percent of the topsoil moisture rated short to very short.  Corn condition is reported at 2 percent very poor, 8 percent poor, 28 percent fair, 49 percent good, and 13 percent excellent.  Soybean condition is rated 3 percent very poor, 9 percent poor, 29 percent fair, 49 percent good, and 10 percent excellent.

In Kansas producers experienced another week of record high temperatures and only scattered precipitation. Several stations set national high temperatures and broke records that were over 100 years old.  The average weekly temperature was a sweltering 7 to 15 degrees above normal. Along with the record heat last week, only 5 of the 53 stations had more than one-half inch of rain.  Because of the hot and dry wind last week, topsoil moisture supplies declined significantly to 40 percent very short, 41 percent short, 19 percent adequate, and none as surplus. Over 90 percent of the topsoil moisture supplies in the western third of the State were rated from very short to short.  The corn is rated 31 percent poor to very poor and 26 percent good to excellent.  Soybeans are rated 23 percent poor to very poor and 30 percent good to excellent. 

In Michigan seven days were suitable for field work last week. Lack of rain and hot temperatures stressed crops. All crops need rain.  Topsoil moisture is 89 percent short to very short and only 11 percent adequate.  The corn is rated 28 percent poor to very poor and 40 percent good to excellent.  Soybeans are rated 27 percent poor to very poor and 34 percent good to excellent.


Minnesota has had much more rain than other parts of the Cornbelt, but hot dry weather prevailed in the past week.  As of July 1, topsoil moisture supplies were rated 78 percent adequate to surplus, down from 94 percent the prior week. 82 percent of the corn is rated good to excellent and 86 percent of the soybeans are fair to good condition.


In Missouri high temperatures with no precipitation across most of the state took its toll on crops this week as all crops declined in condition. Corn condition rated poor to very poor increased 22 points to 48 percent while soybeans rated poor to very poor increased 14 points to 49 percent.  Soybean condition was 18 percent very poor, 31 percent poor, 33 percent fair, 17 percent good, and 1 percent excellent. Topsoil moisture declined to its lowest point this year at 71 percent very short, 26 percent short, and 3 percent adequate. The 5 year average topsoil moisture condition is 4 percent very short, 16 percent short, 59 percent adequate, and 21 percent surplus.


In Nebraska triple digit temperatures along with limited precipitation depleted soil moisture levels and caused crop conditions to decline.  Topsoil moisture is 79 percent short to very short and 21 percent adequate.  Corn conditions rated 4 percent very poor, 11 poor, 29 fair, 48 good, and 8 excellent, well below last year’s 83 percent good to excellent and 80 average.  Irrigated corn conditions rated 70 percent good to excellent and dryland corn rated 35.  Much of the dryland corn acreage in the western two-thirds of the state rated poor or very poor.  Soybean conditions rated 3 percent very poor, 13 poor, 39 fair, 42 good, and 3 excellent, well below last year’s 81 percent good to excellent and 79 average.


In North Dakota, a heat wave last week resulted in stress on crops and waning soil moisture supplies.  Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 7 percent very short, 38 percent short, 54 percent adequate and 1 percent surplus.  Corn is rated 81 percent good to excellent and only 2 percent in the poor category.  Soybeans are at 77 percent in good to excellent condition and 3 percent in the poor category. 


In Ohio, conditions throughout the state are hot and dry. The heat and dry weather has put significant stress on both crops and livestock.  Topsoil moisture was rated 53 percent very short, 36 percent short, 10 percent adequate, and 1 percent surplus.  Corn is rated 26 percent poor to very poor and 33 percent good to excellent.  Soybeans are 30 percent poor to very poor and 29 percent good to excellent.

In South Dakota, warm and dry conditions dominated the week once again over nearly the whole state.  Very little precipitation occurred statewide along with much above average temperatures. The combination of high temperatures, lower relative humidities and higher crop water use are producing potentially stressful crop situations across the state. Crop reports are coming with various places where corn and soybeans are showing stress.  Topsoil moisture was rated at 28 percent in adequate to surplus, 47 percent short and 25 percent very short.  Corn was rated 66 percent good to excellent, with only 6 percent in the poor to very poor category.  Soybeans are rated 63 percent good to excellent, with 5 percent in the poor to very poor category.


In Wisconsin, another week without rain dried out fields across the state and exacerbated drought conditions for southern Wisconsin. Soil moisture conditions were 70 percent or more short to very short in five of the nine reporting districts. The Madison weather station recorded record low rainfall for the month of June, only 0.35 inches, compared to the previous record low of 0.59 inches in June of 1895. Irrigation systems were getting a workout statewide.  Dry conditions have reportedly led to curling and other signs of stress. The crop needs rain soon to recover.  Corn is rated 50 percent good to excellent and 24 percent in poor to very poor conditions.  Soybeans are rated 49 percent in good to excellent condition and 25 percent poor to very poor.

Summary:
Soil moisture ratings continue to show extreme dryness leading to crop stress in the southern two thirds of the Cornbelt.  More moist conditions are found in the Dakotas across Minnesota and the northern regions of Wisconsin and Michigan.  Below the Great lakes, soil moisture is nearly absent and crop ratings are showing rapid deterioration from week to week.

Source: FarmGate blog


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