Dry Conditions Taking A Toll On Nation’s Crops

Corn conditions are declining after promising weekend rains disappointed farmers. And while corn maturation is catching up, it’s still a long way from the five-year average. According to the USDA’s latest Crop Progress report on Monday, 61% of the nation’s corn is in good or better condition, down from 64% last week.

Crops in the eastern Corn Belt are faring better than those in the western half, where corn in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas and Missouri continue to struggle against drought conditions.

In Kansas, where 28% of its corn is in poor or worse condition, 58% of the crop is growing within areas experiencing moderate or worse drought. In nearby Iowa, the country’s top corn- and soybean-producing state, 18% of corn is in poor or very poor condition. This is 1 percentage point higher than last week and 3 points higher than the USDA’s July 29 report.

More than half of the country’s corn is at or beyond the dough stage, compared to the five-year average of 65%. Eleven percent of corn has dented, compared to 57% last week. With drier weather expected to persist through the end of August, some expect corn and soybean yields to be affected.

Soybeans are catching up closer to average, with 72% setting pods. This is down 9 percentage points from the five-year average but 14 percentage points above last week’s report.

Like corn, however, soybean conditions dropped slightly this week. Sixty-two percent of soybeans are in good or better condition, compared to 64% last week. While Kansas corn remains the worst in the nation, Iowa crops top the list for soybeans. Currently, 17% of soybeans in Iowa are in poor or very poor condition, compared to 15% last week.

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