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USDA: Corn, soybeans improving slowly

Agriculture.com Staff 06/30/2008 @ 2:16pm

After what's felt like the longest spring planting season in history for many farmers in the Midwest, corn and soybean conditions are slowly looking up.

Monday's USDA Crop Progress report shows a two-percent rise in corn conditions and a one-percent rise in soybean conditions. Now, 61% of the nation's corn and 58% of the nation's soybeans are in good-to-excellent condition. That's down, however, from 73% and 68% from a year ago, respectively.

Soybean planting is nearing completion, according to USDA, but also at a slower-than-normal rate. As of Sunday, 95% of the nation's bean crop was planted, compared to the 98% previous five-year average. Last year at this time, 99% of the bean crop was in the ground.

Turning to wheat, winter wheat harvest has slowed somewhat in the last week: Rainfall and humid weather in the Plains has kept harvest slow and spotty in some areas, and USDA's numbers show it: As of Sunday, 36% of the winter wheat crop was harvested, compared to the 48% previous five-year average, but identical to the progress level last year at this time.

After what's felt like the longest spring planting season in history for many farmers in the Midwest, corn and soybean conditions are slowly looking up.

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