Corn crop off to best start since 1999

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It hasn’t been smooth sailing for all crop-producing states over the last week, but for most of the Corn Belt, milder weather helped push the corn crop to its best conditions in 15 years.

According to the USDA’s latest Crop Progress report, 75 percent of U.S. corn is in good to excellent condition, virtually unchanged from last week and well-above last year’s report of 68 percent in these same conditions.

Corn conditions aren’t just ahead of 2013’s conditions. Looking at historic data, corn conditions in 2014 had surpassed reports from the last 15 years, topped only by those reported in 1999:  

Date of Report

Very Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

July 7, 2014

1

4

20

54

21

July 8, 2013

2

6

24

51

17

July 9, 2012

12

18

30

34

6

July 11, 2011

3

6

22

52

17

July 6, 2010

3

7

19

51

20

July 6, 2009

2

6

21

53

18

July 7, 2008

3

8

27

48

14

July 9, 2007

3

6

21

51

19

July 10, 2006

3

8

26

47

16

July 11, 2005

6

11

25

42

16

July 6, 2004

2

5

20

52

21

July 7, 2003

1

5

21

54

19

July 8, 2002

4

11

32

43

10

July 9, 2001

1

6

24

53

16

July 10, 2000

2

5

19

50

24

July 6, 1999

1

4

18

53

24

In Iowa, the country’s top corn-producing state, 7 percent of corn is in poor or very condition. Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey commented on the progress.

“Strong storms and wet fields continue to stress some crops and create challenges for famers needing to make hay, spray weeds or side-dress fertilizer,” Northey said in a news release.  “Fortunately, much of the crop remains in pretty good condition, but needs some warm and dry weather to help dry fields.”

While soggy fields may need warmer, drier weather to help recover from the recent storms, the National Weather Service in Des Moines, Iowa, reports that through Saturday, the area can expect multiple chances of rain. Highs will range from 75 to 85 degrees. Read more here.

The report also reported 15 percent of the corn now silking, compared to the five-year average of 18 percent.

Soybeans are also doing well, with 72 percent of the crop in good or excellent condition. This is unchanged from last week’s report and a 20-year high. Twenty-four percent of soybeans are blooming, compared to 9 percent in 2013 and the five-year average of 21 percent.

Click here to read the full Crop Progress report.


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