Corn Catching Up But Condition Slides

Warmer weather may be helping corn catch up in some ways, but dry conditions are dinging crop health says USDA.

Published on: Sep 9, 2013

The U.S. corn crop keeps on plugging away, trying to catch up from a late, wet spring and bring home the bushels for farmers. About 92% of the crop has reached dough stage, just two percentage points behind the five-year average, but when you look at the amount of corn that's reached maturity you know there's more progress the crop has to make.

USDA's latest Crop Progress Report shows that only 9% of the crop has reached maturity versus 28% for the five year average (and 55% by this time last year). Lingering fears of an early frost will plague this crop until it's made, but for now it appears the weather is holding out for at least the next week.

SLOW PROGRESS: Corn is catching up, but will it mature fast enough?
SLOW PROGRESS: Corn is catching up, but will it mature fast enough?

About 64% of the corn crop has dented, USDA reports, versus 75% for the average. All signs point to the need for more time to get this crop ready. And corn condition slipped a little more with only 54% good to excellent compared to 56% last week; and 17% is poor to very poor condition, slightly worse than last week's 16% figure.

For soybeans, 97% of the crop is setting pods which is in line with the five-year average,  but the crop is showing signs of losing condition too. 52% of the soybean crop is good to excellent versus 54% a week ago; and 16% is poor to very poor versus 15% last week - a close statistical number.

The spring wheat harvest is ahead of the five-year average as a dry late season has allowed combines to roll. So far 80% of the crop has been harvested versus 79% last year.

Meanwhile, winter wheat planting has started with 5% already in the ground, which is about average for this time of year and ahead of 2012.

Pasture and range condition is sliding with 36% poor to very poor, versus 34% last week. The pasture and range listed good to excellent slipped to 35% from 38% in the same time period.

Keep up with crop conditions and yield estimates on the Farm Futures Statistical Tables and Charts page