According to the latest USDA Crop Progress Report, released Tuesday, late-season drought and dryness may be taking its toll on soybean and corn conditions in top-producing Midwest states.
Corn maturity ratings show 84% of corn is currently in the dough stage, compared to 70% last week but down from 97% one year ago, at the height of the 2012 drought. Only 42% of corn is at the dent stage, a big jump from last week's 23% but still far off of last year's 84%.
As expected, maturity has been hampered due to cool summer temps and limited rainfall. Though no corn was classified mature last week, 4% is mature this week, USDA reported. The warmer-temp states with the most mature corn include North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas, with Missouri trailing but still in double digits. Illinois has yet to bring any corn into maturity with Indiana and Iowa hanging back at 2% and 3% of the corn crop at maturity, respectively.
At this time last year, 38% of corn had reached maturity. That's compared to the five-year average of 17%.
As for condition, 16% of the corn crop is classified very poor to poor, 28% is fair, and 56% is good to excellent. While that represents only a 3% slip from last week's good to excellent category totals, it still may represent a growing fear that limited rainfall will further hinder condition.
As for soybeans, 92% are setting pods, compared to 98% last year and 84% last week. Condition, while still holding up at 54%, posted a 4% slide from last week's 58%. Overall, 15% is classified very poor to poor, compared to 13% last week, and 31% is fair, up from 29% last week.
Spring wheat is 64% harvested this week, with 70% classified as good to excellent.
Keep up with crop conditions and yield estimates on the Farm Futures Statistical Tables and Charts page.