Weather has been pushing the corn crop along all growing season. This week’s USDA Crop Progress report shows 12% of the nation’s corn crop is in the dent stage. USDA’s numbers show below average rainfall in Texas, Missouri and Kansas has pushed those crops toward maturity with 70%, 32% and 23% of their corn in the dent stage. Similarly, 21% of corn in Illinois is in the dent stage, a significant difference compared to the 6% five-year-average.
USDA reports 57% of the nation’s corn is in the dough stage, significantly ahead of the 35% five-year-average. Conditions are still impeccable, according to USDA. Corn condition ratings increased in Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin this week. Conditions were sharply lower in Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Iowa, Michigan and North Dakota. Significant declines were also seen in Iowa, Michigan and North Dakota.
At this point, conditions and the weather forecast are not likely to slow this crop down going into the month of August, according to Pro Farmer editor Brian Grete.
“Once the crop starts it’s hard to slow it down,” Grete says. “The only thing you can do is add weeks onto the end of the growing season, but once it reaches physiological maturity it’s done.”
According to Grete, it typically it would take around 50-60 days to get to the “black layer” (harvest ready maturity) after pollination. He expects a good amount of corn to be done before that 60-day window this year.
Harvest has been underway in Texas for weeks and farmers say combines will start rolling in Missouri soon.