USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says the U.S. corn crop is maturing fairly quickly, just slightly behind the five-year average for progress.
"Now more than half of the U.S. corn is dented that compares to the five-year average of 54%," Rippey said. "Last year's quick maturing crop was at 70%. Crop now mature is now 9%, the five-year average 11% and last year 17%."
But Rippey says the condition of the corn crop continues to drop off, with a fairly sharp decline this past week.
"The crop now rated just 54% good to excellent and 19% very poor to poor," Rippey said. "A week ago those numbers were 57% and 17% respectively. A year ago more than two-thirds of the crop, 70%, was rated good to excellent in late August and just 10% rated very poor to poor."
Rippey says the soybean crop is starting to drop leaves in some areas, mainly across the South.
"About 2% nationally compared to the five-year average of 6% and last year's 7%," Rippey said. "Nearly half of the leaves have dropped in the Southern states of Louisiana and Mississippi, both at 47%, and we are just starting to see some leaf drop into parts of the Southern Corn Belt as well."
Fifty-seven percent of the U.S. soybean crop is now rated good to excellent ,15% rated very poor to poor. That's a decline from last week, when 59% was rated good to excellent and 14% was rated very poor to poor. Last year at this time Rippey says 64% of the crop was rated good to excellent and 12% very poor to poor.
Nationally, winter wheat harvest is nearly complete at 97%. That's behind the five-year average of 99%. Rippey says the lag is still in the Northwest, and while the spring wheat harvest is still delayed it is moving along and has reached the halfway mark.