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Crop conditions stabilize -- USDA

Jeff Caldwell 08/13/2012 @ 3:31pm Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

Corn conditions changed just barely over the last week, with the "very poor" category gaining 1% and the "fair" category losing 1%, according to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report. That now means 51% of the nation's crop, like 38% of the soybean crop, is rated poor to very poor.

There's one bright side to Monday's numbers; though corn conditions dipped slightly, soybeans saw a 1% rise in the "good" category, lowering the poor category by the same amount. It's a sign some say the cooler temperatures and rainfall in parts of the Corn Belt so far this month have helped that crop show signs of life after a scorching, bone-dry June and July.

But, that doesn't mean the crop worries are over; farmers still report devastating yield prospects with the approach of harvest, which will likely begin later this month for some Corn Belt farmers. That's about a month ahead of normal for some.

"There has been more corn chopped for silage starting the last weekend of July and still continuing than I can remember. The only yield I have heard was a field that was chopped and Federal Crop estimated the yield at 36 bushels," says Agriculture.com Marketing Talk frequent contributor nwiafmr. "That probably will be at the very low end in this area. My best guess today would be half of a normal crop...my normal is in the 180s, so I am assuming something around 100 bushels an acre average for me. As dry as some fields look, I wouldn't rule out some harvesting of corn the end of this month."


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