With so much attention focused on the nation’s corn struggling against Mother Nature, it’s time to focus on the states with the best corn conditions in the country.
According to the USDA, 69 percent of the nation’s corn is in good or better condition, unchanged from last week but 4 percentage points below last year’s progress. Of that, four states in particular – Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota and Tennessee – are reporting high percentages of corn in these conditions:
- Iowa: Bill Northey, Iowa's Secretary of Agriculture, said in an update, "With the rains much of the state received last week most areas have adequate moisture. Crops remain in good condition with 82 percent of corn and 77 percent of soybeans rated as good to excellent."
- Kentucky: Though 80 percent of corn in Kentucky is rated in good or excellent condition, the state's crops are beginning to feel pressure. According to the Kentucky NASS Field office, "Disease and insect pressure continues for field crops. Some locations are in need of rain as crops are showing signs of lack of moisture. Early planted corn is beginning to dry down in some areas. There is some concern over the possibility of weak corn stalks this fall due to growing conditions this year."
- Minnesota: "Thirty-four percent of Minnesota ’s corn acreage was in or beyond the dent stage," the NASS office in Minnesota reported. This is "8 days ahead of last year and 2 days ahead of the five-year average."
- Tennessee:With 85 percent of corn in good or better condition, producers remain positive even with rain limiting field work, which includes early corn harvest. The USDA's Tennessee Field Office said, "Limited corn harvest began between rains last week. Producers welcomed the rain which boosted pastures, thus improving cattle condition. The rains also helped bring a good finish to crops. Producers are cautiously optimistic about yields this season."
The USDA also reported 39 of corn in the country dented, compared to 33 percent last year and the five-year average of 43 percent. Progress on mature corn will begin reporting in next week’s report.
Soybeans: Conditions unchanged
Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of soybeans are in good or excellent condition, unchanged from last week’s report but 7 percentage points behind last year’s progress. Many of the same states reporting high percentages of corn in these conditions have also reported high percentage of soybeans faring better than most.
In Minnesota, 80 percent of soybeans are seen in good or excellent condition, and in Tennessee, this percentage is slightly higher at 81.
Soybeans are also progressing on track with both average and the 2014 pace. Currently 87 percent of soybeans have set pods, compared to 89 percent last year and the five-year average of 88 percent.