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USDA: Corn's tasseling, HRW wheat harvest rolling quickly

Agriculture.com Staff 07/06/2009 @ 3:05pm

Some of the corn's just starting to throw up tassels this week while the hard red winter wheat harvest has blown by the halfway point in the Plains, according to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report.

As of Sunday, 8% of the nation's widely varied corn crop was pollinating, right at half the nornal pace for this week, but doubling last week's tasseling progress, USDA numbers show. It's yet to begin in Iowa and Minnesota, and has just started in Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and Nebraska, while in points south and west, pollination's moving forward quicker. Twenty-seven percent of the Kansas crop is tasseling, while 30% is pollinating in Missouri, both ahead of last year's pace.

Row crop conditions are a mixed bag; corn and soybeans are much-improved but still behind in some areas, says Agriculture Online Marketing Talk member Lucky 2 after a drive through southern Illinois over the weekend. "Most of the beans were small, at least 50% were emerging. Lots of weedy bean fields where the early burndown had to give up," he observes from his weekend road trip. "The corn varied from knee-high and yellow to shoulder-high and looking good. Saw one field tasseling on the high ground and about knee-high where it was planted ont he low ground.

"Most of the crop has good potential but it would be much better if it were the first of June instead of July," he adds. "We were lucky last year with a late crop and good weather, I am not so sure it will happen again."

While some combines are still running as far south as Texas, HRW wheat harvest is progressing quickly through the Kansas-Nebraska border: As of Sunday, 83% of the Kansas crop was harvested, while only 11% was cut in Nebraska. Most of the Kansas crop left in the field is concentrated in northwestern Kansas. Yield reports are coming in between 40 and 80 bushels per acre there, according to Kansas Wheat Commission communications specialist Bill Spiegel.

"Over the Independence Day weekend, a long line of thunderstorms spread across northern Kansas, temporarily stopping the fledgling wheat harvest in the northwest area of the state. Meanwhile, the 2009 wheat harvest is drawing to a close elsewhere in Kansas," Spiegel said Sunday. "[Kansas Wheat Commissioner Brian] Linin rates harvest progress in extreme northwest Kansas at about 5%. Although early, he expects yields to average greater than 40 bushels per acre with test weights more than 60 pounds per bushel. Protein is expected to be below average."

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Some of the corn's just starting to throw up tassels this week while the hard red winter wheat harvest has blown by the halfway point in the Plains, according to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report.

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