Corn and Soybean Conditions Hurt by Heat

Winter and spring wheat crops struggling as is sorghum.

Published on: Aug 3, 2011

Last week's crop progress report from USDA showed the heat was beginning to take its toll on the condition of the corn and soybean crops. USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says this week corn and soybeans seem to be holding on pretty well but are teetering on the edge.

The hot weather has blanketed much of the U.S. for some time now, but Rippey says the dryness is beginning to spread north. And while the corn conditions for the week ending July 31 are unchanged from the previous week, he says the crop in Texas has been suffering and the problems are starting to spread with the heat and drought.

"Even up into the Southern and Eastern Corn Belt we're starting to see emerging problems," Rippey said. "Places like Missouri that are 28% very poor to poor as well as Indiana at 21%."

Rippey says soybean conditions have slipped just a bit again this week trailing off to 60% good to excellent and 12% very poor to poor. That's just 2% dropping out of the good to excellent category and 1% added to the very poor to poor category.

The winter wheat crop is struggling to mature in the north, which is keeping harvest well behind the normal pace in Northwest states.

"Just a very few number of fields, 7% harvested in Washington state, that number should be 32% for the end of July," Rippey said. "Montana is 2% harvested, 34% is the five-year average, and Idaho also just 2% harvested compared to 16% that is the five-year average."

Overall, the winter wheat crop is 81% harvested with the five-year average 86%.

As for spring wheat, Rippey says development is a little slow.

"Conditions remain reasonably good but have trailed off a little bit at 70% good to excellent and 7% very poor to poor," Rippey said. "A week ago those numbers were 74% and 5% respectively as this year's crop has been hit just a little bit by the heat but not as much as areas to the south though."

Of course, the heat and dry weather seem to be creeping further north. Sorghum is also taking a hit from the heat. Just 24% of the crop is rated in good to excellent condition and 44% is rated very poor to poor.