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Northeast crop watchers says most corn won't make tassel-high by July 4, but it has adequate soil moisture and is in good to excellent condition.

July 2, 2014

3 Min Read

Sunday's report by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service crop progress monitors in the Northeast suggest that crops are developing well after a slow start this spring. Here's a quick summary of the enumerator reports:

Delaware/Maryland
Going into this week, Delaware and Maryland were most likely to have at least some tassel-high corn by July 4. Crop enumerators noted that Delaware's field corn averaged 28-inches tall while average corn height in Maryland was 34 inches.

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More critical crop measures are soil moisture and crop condition. Delaware, in part due to its sandy soils, was the driest Northeast state going into this week, with 65% of top soils rated at adequate and 35% rated short to very short. In Maryland, top soil moisture levels were 78% adequate to surplus and 22% short.

At this point, Delaware crop conditions seemed to be holding up: 98% of alfalfa rated fair to excellent; 90% of corn rated fair to excellent; and 97% of soybeans rated fair to excellent.

Maryland crop conditions were similar: 97% of corn and alfalfa were rated fair to excellent; 98% of soybeans were fair to excellent; and 95% of other hay rated fair to excellent.

New England
Crop progress in this region really scored an "It depends." Depending on location, weekly precipitation amounts ranged from 0.02 to 4 inches. Hay, corn, strawberries and blueberries were reportedly behind schedule, but looking good.

New England's local strawberry harvest was in full swing last week, while that harvest was slowing in New York and nearly wrapped up at states farther south. New England top soils were rated 90% adequate to surplus, with 10% short to very short.

New Jersey
NASS observes reported a full week of good working weather and 86% of top soil moisture levels reported as adequate to surplus. Soybean emergence was at 95% compared to only 59% last year and 88% for the five-year average.

Only 52% of sweet corn was planted, compared to 79% last year and 83% over the last five years.

New York
Parts of the Empire State were hammered with up to five inches of rain. That put a damper on crop progress as well. Soil moisture was rated 9% adequate to surplus.

Some reports expected corn to be "knee-high by the 4th of July". Only one expected a chest-high crop.

Hay cutting generally on schedule or slightly ahead of last year and the five-year average. Crop conditions for corn, soybean, winter wheat and hay crops were 97% fair to excellent with most falling in the good category.

Pennsylvania
In the Keystone State, the average height of emerged corn was 25 inches – a tad short of tassel-high. But the corn crop was growing rapidly and widespread showers were predicted for late this week.

Farmers had just started winter wheat harvest. Alfalfa cutting has been good thanks to the

low humidity. But that wasn't expected to continue through the week.

Soil moisture was generally adequate to surplus. Crop conditions were fair to excellent for all crops. That's normal before hot weather sets in. Extension reports from across the state indicate that a lot of local sweet corn will be sold this week.

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