Corn Belt crop conditions decline along with topsoil moisture
Kansas topsoil moisture supplies continued to decline to 64 percent very short, 31 percent short, 5 percent adequate, and none in surplus. With 95 percent in the very short to short categories, this is the lowest July rating for topsoil moisture supplies since 1991. Kansas subsoil moisture supplies also declined to 58 percent very short, 35 percent short, 7 percent adequate and none surplus. As many producers decided to chop non-irrigated corn for silage, the hot and dry conditions were preventing adequate pollination of many row crops. Row crops continued to show stress as corn, soybeans, and sorghum were all rated over 50 percent in the very poor to poor categories. Only 12 percent of corn and 14 percent of beans are listed good to excellent. 84 percent of pasture is rated poor to very poor.
In Michigan above normal temperatures with below normal rainfall was again the norm. Topsoil is 80 percent short to very short, corn is 51 percent poor to very poor and soybeans are 40 percent poor to very poor. 29 percent of beans are rated good to excellent and 17 percent of corn is also rated good to excellent.
Minnesota remains a state with periodic rainfall. And 40 percent of the topsoil was rated as having adequate moisture and 4 percent was surplus. Even so, 56 percent was short to very short. Only 11 percent of corn and soybeans were rated poor or below with 61 percent if corn in the good to excellent categories, along with 60 percent of the soybeans.
Missouri is at the opposite end of the spectrum from Minnesota with 90 percent of the topsoil very short and 9 percent short of soil moisture. Grass fires continue to be a concern. Well pumps have been lowered to account for dropping ground water levels. Corn condition rated 48 percent very poor, 31 percent poor, 16 percent fair, 4 percent good, and 1 percent excellent. Rain will not help most of the corn crop at this point. Some producers cut silage and baled corn to salvage it due to low yields. Soybean condition was 31 percent very poor, 37 percent poor, 24 percent fair, 7 percent good, and 1 percent excellent. Extreme drought conditions and excessive heat prevented some soybeans from flowering, and there were several reports of soybeans not setting pods.
In Nebraska drought conditions coupled with above normal temperatures continued to take a toll on dryland crops. With pastures and forage supplies short, corn acres have begun being chopped for silage or cut for hay. Irrigators were struggling with water demands and in some cases more water has been used to date than a full season would require. Corn conditions declined and rated 14 percent very poor, 19 poor, 30 fair, 32 good, and 5 excellent, well below last year’s 80 percent good to excellent and 79 average. Irrigated corn conditions rated 57 percent good to excellent and dryland corn rated 9 percent. Soybean conditions declined and rated 10 percent very poor, 22 poor, 40 fair, 26 good, and 2 excellent, well below last year’s 78 percent good to excellent and 77 average. Topsoil moisture is rated 95 percent short to very short, compared to 92 percent last week.
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