According to USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey the latest crop condition report released Monday shows crops running significantly behind the normal development pace in the Midwest and across the Plains. Southwestern Nebraska farmer Kurt Bernhardt agrees with USDA's assessment.
"They look good, but they are behind," Bernhardt says. "I'd say we're a good two weeks off from doing any corn harvest around here and that's probably high moisture at best."
The condition of the corn and soybean crops did not deteriorate in this week's report; corn staying steady with 61% of the crop rated in good to excellent condition and 57% of the soybeans with that rating. However torrential rains and flooding in many areas may drop those ratings in next week's report. Also maturity is very far behind pace with only 19% of the corn crop being fully mature.
"That is way behind the five-year average of 44%," says Rippey. "In five states we see less than 10% of the corn mature at this point in mid-September."