The continued dry spell and heat took its toll on corn and soybean crops again. Corn condition dropped another 8 points in the good/excellent category, and soybeans dipped 5 points. Crops continue to progress at ahead-of-average pace, however. Fifty percent of the corn crop has silks and 44% of the soybean crop has bloomed.

The five-year average for corn silking at this point in time is 19%. This year, despite the heat and thanks to early planting, the overall corn crop is half silked. Corn in Minnesota took off in the last week going from 5% of the crop with silks last week to 41% this week. Corn in Ohio, Pennsylvania and South Dakota also made big strides in the last week.

As the crop progresses, the condition continues to deteriorate. Last week the corn crop was 48% good/excellent. This week it's down to 40%. Last year it was 69% good/excellent at this time. All 8 points of deterioration were added to the very poor/poor ratings. There are several states with over half the crop in very poor/poor condition: Indiana (61%), Kentucky (72%), Missouri (60%) and Tennessee (61%). The Illinois corn crop is at 48% very poor/poor. The Kentucky corn crop has also lost all excellent-rated corn.

Corn in the Upper Midwest is doing fairly well with a few well-timed showers here and there. Minnesota's corn is 77% good/excellent condition, North Dakota corn is at 74% and South Dakota is sitting at 60% good/excellent. Other states with nearly to over half of their corn crops in good/excellent condition include: Nebraska, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Texas.

Soybeans are making good progress overall with 44% of the crop bloomed so far. This is well ahead of the 25% five-year average, and a large jump over last week's 26%. Just over half a dozen states are less than 40% bloomed, including Kansas, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio and Wisconsin. Mississippi soybeans lead the blooming pack with 90% of the soybean fields bloomed already, 9 points ahead of the five-year average.

Soybean crop conditions fell this week again, too. The overall crop is now 40% good/excellent and 27% very poor/poor. A year ago the crop was 66% good/excellent and only 8% very poor/poor. At least half of the beans are in very poor/poor condition in Indiana, Kentucky and Missouri. Illinois beans aren't far behind at 42% very poor/poor. Minnesota and North Dakota beans are doing well, however, at 72% and 71% good/excellent, respectively.