U.S. corn and soybean crops are far ahead of schedule. However, they are also very spotty across the nation. Some areas are experiencing excellent growing conditions. Oppositely, others are experiencing less than ideal conditions.
A spotty corn and soybean outlook across the Midwest was the general consensus from farmers at the North Central Soybean Research Program. Linda Kull spoke on behalf of crop progress in Illinois. Kull said crops were ahead of schedule through July. However, now they are about 10% off from last year.
“We could use rain now,” Kull said. “The crops in the southern part of the state look good, some of the best we’ve seen. Producers planted corn early and got hurt with the early heat. The soybean crop is excellent.”
As of last week, 90% of crops had reached the dough stage. At this time last year, 74% had reached this stage. Furthermore, 77% of the corn crop is in good to excellent condition.
Soybean setting pods is ahead of last year at 90%. Additionally, 73% are good to excellent.
The Rest of the Midwest
At NCSRP, Ariel Kittle spoke for Indiana crop progress. Kittle talked of the state’s slow start to the growing season. Kittle said Indiana is in desperate need of rain now with areas of burnout in the state.
Similarly, Iowa is also in need of rain in certain areas. Tom Adam, an Iowa farmer, said southern Iowa has been very dry while northern Iowa has been swamped. Adam feels Southeast Iowa is doing well, while central Iowa desperately needs rain.
Ron Ohlde said Kansas has seen very spotty conditions.
Western Kansas has had good rains but also bad storms. Southern and eastern Kansas have been very dry or spotty. Soybean conditions are over the place, very spotty.
In Missouri, crops are two weeks ahead of last year. Earlier in the season, there were timely rains which led to excellent crops. However, the north-central portion of the state is dry and the northwest is even drier. Central Missouri had the hottest May on record and pastures are in rough shape.
While other states flourished early, Nebraska struggled.
“It was dry early this spring and the planted corn just sat there, not able to get going,” said Larry Tonniges, Nebraska farmer. “There have been several areas wiped out from summer storms. The soybeans are looking the best of all the crops right now. We are testing for soybean cyst nematodes across the state now.”
Overall, the U.S. crop is maturing faster than normal. With this, there is concern yields will be negatively impacted. According to Jeff Coulter, University of Minnesota Extension corn agronomist, crops are about five to six days ahead of the national average. Though this isn’t necessarily a detriment to yield potential, there is some cause for concern.
“But, in areas where soil moisture is starting to get limited, then we’d definitely want to see less air temperature and maybe a slower rate of crop development,” Coulter said.
Coulter said early maturing corn is more of a concern for states such as Miss., Ill., and Iowa.
“We can’t really do much about the weather, but being ahead of normal is nice for those who want to get their fieldwork done and things wrapped up in the fall,” Coulter said.
According to the last USDA crop report, more than 25% of the nation’s corn crop is dented. This is double the five-year average.
Crops across the U.S. are experiencing various conditions. However, overall, crops are way ahead of schedule.
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