Crops Need an Extra Month to Finish

Crop Update 071519
Corn photos from IL Corn College 2014. ( Aimee Cope )

USDA updating crop progress and crop conditions on Monday.

It shows the nation's corn crop is 58% good to excellent. That's only 1% better than last week and well below last year's average of 72%. As for soybeans, 54% of the crop is now rated good to excellent. Again, that's only a 1% improvement over last week and also below last year at this time when ratings were 69% good to excellent.

While planting is wrapped up, farmers like Brent Lowry of Searsboro, Iowa say they need a long growing season. He says, like much of the midwest, the planting season was long and drawn out. They planted more in June than they ever have.

That's made for a variety of plant maturities including everything from tasseling corn to corn that's just knee high.

USDA says 8% of Iowa corn is silking while last year it was 63%. Just 26% of soybeans are blooming compared to more than 60% a year ago.

"We didn't plant in the most ideal conditions and I'm sure root structure is not great," says Lowry.  "It's just two weeks to a month and a half behind in spots and we're going to need a late summer and a nice fall."

Meanwhile, in Missouri, it's a similar story.  Crops near Cairo, Missouri are all over the board in terms of maturities.

Les Monroe farms and does crop consulting in the area. He says there are still replants and double crop planting underway. They need warm weather to continue but not without more rain. 

"Heat units right now are helping [move] the corn along and develop," says Monroe.  "Believe it or not, in some areas we could use a rain."

Monroe says the crops actually look better than he thought they would a month ago. He says there's still potential for a good crop in his area but the weather has to cooperate.