Crops continue to look good, with favorable weather in most production areas. Like we’ve seen for several weeks, progress and conditions have run very close to those of last year. USDA last week released its first survey-based yield projections of the summer, predicting average corn yields just under 160 bushels per acre, and a total U.S. corn harvest of 12.8 billion bushels.
This week’s Crop Progress report, issued Aug. 17, shows the crop continuing to live up to those expectations. The report rates 68 percent of the U.S. crop in good or excellent condition, and just 10 percent as poor to very poor – numbers that mirror those of one year ago almost exactly.
The report rates 66 percent of the soybean crop as good to excellent, with the numbers again matching up closely with last year at this time.
Crops are running a bit behind in development due to late planting and cool weather in some areas. Forty percent of the corn crop has reached dough stage, compared with 46 percent one year ago and 64 percent for the five-year average. Likewise, 9 percent of the corn has reached the dent stage, compared with 12 percent one year ago and 26 percent for the same date averaged over the past five years. Continued slow development could lead to some risk of early frost damaging yields in northern areas.
Nationally, 50 percent of pasture and range rates good to excellent, with 23 percent rated poor or very poor. Those numbers compare favorably with last year at this time, when 40 percent rated good or excellent and 29 percent poor or very poor. As we’ve seen all summer, the state with the worst conditions is