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July 19, 2017

U.S. Crop Conditions Decline - Areas of Concern for U.S. Crops

  • The U.S. corn condition declined 1% last week to 64% rated good to excellent with most of the declines registered in the western Corn Belt. The forecast for this week is calling for some chances of rain in parts of the western Corn Belt, but coverage looks spotty.
  • The most recent Drought Monitor showed expanding dryness in Iowa and Nebraska in addition to the existing concerns in South Dakota and North Dakota. The USDA reported last week that 9% of the U.S. corn and soybean areas were experiencing drought conditions.
  • Dryness in central Illinois also continues to be a concern. Approximately 7-10 counties in central Illinois from about Quincy to Champaign/Urbana could definitely use additional moisture.
  • Temperatures this week are expected to be above normal in the western Corn Belt, which will increase the corn's water demand just as much of the corn enters into pollination.
  • The corn silking is 40% compared to 53% last year and 47% average. I am concerned about the delayed silking in the dryer western states such as South Dakota and North Dakota which are both 11% silking and Iowa which is 37% silking. Under these adverse conditions, the longer that pollination is delayed, the more problematic it may be.
  • The U.S. soybean condition declined for the fourth week in a row by 1% to 61% rated good to excellent. The soybean crop has problems on both ends of the Corn Belt. It is too dry in the western Corn Belt while it is too wet in the eastern Corn Belt. Soybean blooming is on schedule with 52% compared to the average of 51%. The soybeans are 16% setting pods compared to the average of 13%.
  • In contrast to the dryness in the western Corn Belt, there continues to be too much rain in some of the eastern states such as Indiana and Ohio. The wetness in the eastern Corn Belt has resulted in uneven development especially for the soybeans.
  • Numerous reports out of Indiana and Ohio indicate that the soybeans have been significantly impacted by the saturated conditions. In addition to some acres being lost due to ponding, a lot of the soybeans are shorter than normal, yellow, stunted, and growing very slowly due to a lack of oxygen in the saturated root zone. Farmers are reporting that the soybeans are green and growing above the drainage tiles, but yellowish and stunted in between the tile lines.