USDA’s rating of U.S. corn conditions held steady last week, but soybean conditions declined slightly as dry weather affected crops in the eastern Midwest.

USDA’s latest weekly crop update rated corn condition 67% good/excellent, unchanged from a week earlier and up from 58% a year earlier as improved conditions in the western Corn Belt offset lower ratings in the eastern Belt.

U.S. soybean conditions were rated 62% good/excellent, down from 63% a week earlier, but up from 54% a year earlier.

Crop development continued to trail well behind normal, with USDA estimating that 49% of the U.S. corn crop had reached the dough stage against an average of 68%, while 14% of the crop was denting against an average of 30%.

An estimated 75% of the soybean crop was said to be setting pods, behind a five-year average of 87%.

In the No. 2 producing state of Illinois, the portion of the corn crop rated good/excellent fell by 4 percentage points to 68%, due to the effects of drier weather. But that decline was offset by improved conditions in the top corn state of Iowa, where the good/excellent rating rose 4 points to 69%.

Corn conditions also declined in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin, with the impact of dry weather most notable in Wisconsin, where the good/excellent rating fell by 11 percentage points to 64%.

Soybean conditions also declined across the eastern Midwest, with Illinois soybean conditions rated 66% good/excellent, down four percentage points from a week earlier. Soybean conditions also declined in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.

Soybean conditions in the top-producing state of Iowa held steady at 65% good/excellent.

Editor’s note: Richard Brock, Corn & Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.