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USDA Reports Corn Crop Condition Down From Previous Week

Overall condition is still ahead of last year despite drought conditions.

The National Agriculture Statistics Service's latest crop report has the corn crop condition receding slightly from the previous week, mainly because of drought conditions across the Corn Belt. However, the overall condition is still ahead of last year.

Seven percent of the crop is classified as "very poor," up two points from last week. Eleven percent is considered "poor," up one point from last week.

Fifteen percent of the crop is rated as "Excellent," 41% is "Good" and 26% is "Fair." During the same week in 2005, 14% was excellent, 39% was good, 27% was fair, 13% was poor and 7% was very poor.

"There is no doubt the prolonged drought is affecting the corn crop," says Bill Chase, National Corn Growers Association chairman of the Production and Stewardship Action Team. "However, it is important to note the report indicates the crop is better than last year at this time, and we produced 11.112 billion bushels of corn, the second-highest harvest ever."

Chase is from Wolsey, S.D., one of the worst-hit drought areas. Fifty percent of the South Dakota crop is classified as poor or very poor. Texas has also been hit hard by drought. Thirty percent of the crop is very poor, and 18% is poor. In North Dakota, 14% of the crop is very poor, and 18% is poor.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Drought Monitor, areas of South Dakota and Texas are experiencing "exceptional drought." Parts of corn-growing states experiencing "extreme drought" include: Alabama, Colorado, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wisconsin.

Kentucky corn growers appear to have the best crop, with 42% rated as excellent and 43% labeled as good. North Carolina growers also have a good crop, with 25% rated as excellent and 51% listed as good. North Carolina is the only state with zero percent of the corn crop in very poor condition.

More than 90% of the corn crop is silking. Twenty-five percent of the crop is doughing, up 12% from last week.

NASS released data on dented corn for the first time this year. Overall, 5% of the crop has dented. Texas leads the way with 65% of the corn dented. Tennessee has 50% of its corn dented.

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