The condition of the U.S. corn and soybean crops declined last week as excessive rains hurt crop development in the heart of the Midwest production belt. USDA rated U.S. corn conditions 68% good/excellent as of Sunday, down from 70% a week earlier and 73% a year earlier. The soybean crop was rated 65% good/excellent, down from 68% a week earlier and 67% a year earlier.
Conditions deteriorated due to wet conditions in the top two corn and soybean states of Iowa and Illinois. Crops are in need of sunshine and heat in both states. The most notable drop in crop conditions, though, was in Minnesota, the No. 4 corn state and the no. 3 soybean-producing state.
The good/excellent rating for Minnesota corn declined 6 percentage points last week to 70%, while the good/excellent rating for the state's soybean crop declined 8 percentage points to 67%.
Frequent heavy rains and cool temperatures, contributed to delays in crop development, according to the Minnesota field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). Reporters noted that, with little time to dry out between rains, soils were saturated and many fields had standing water, NASS said in its weekly report.
Corn development is well behind normal in Minnesota with the average height of the state's crop at only 16 in. vs. a five-year average of 29 in.
Iowa corn conditions were rated 80% good/excellent, down from 84% a week earlier, but up from 72% a year earlier. The Iowa soybean crop was rated 76% good/excellent down from 82% a week earlier, but up from 66% a year earlier.
Illinois corn conditions were rated 64% good/excellent, down from 68% a week earlier and 67% a year earlier. The state’s soybean crop was rated 60% good/excellent, down from 63% a week earlier and 62% a year earlier.
The average height on the Illinois corn crop was 34 in., up from 24 a week earlier, but behind the five-year average of 42 in. Some 1% of the state’s crop was reported silking vs. the average pace of 6%.
Rain and storms kept most Iowa producers out of their fields last week with only 2.1 days suitable for fieldwork, according to the Iowa office of NASS.
Saturated ground hampered spraying. Ponding and flooding was reported in the western third of the state and straight-line winds caused some corn to lie over.
Wet and cool conditions also delayed spraying in Illinois as only 2.5 days were suitable for fieldwork in that state last week. Topsoil moisture was rated surplus across 60% of Illinois as of Sunday and the state average temperature last week was 3° below normal.
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.