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Crop conditions stable -- USDA

Jeff Caldwell 09/12/2011 @ 3:21pm Agricultural content creator and marketer.

Corn and soybean conditions didn't change a lot in the last week as harvest creeps north.

In Monday's USDA Crop Progress report, corn rated good-to-excellent gained 1%, while soybean conditions were unchanged from last Monday. Fifty-three percent of the corn crop and 56% of the soybeans are rated good to excellent. Twenty-nine percent of the corn crop is mature and 15% of the soybeans are dropping leaves, USDA said Monday.

The main concern for a lot of corn and soybean farmers in the Corn Belt has, in the last few days, changed from one extreme to another. Parts of the northern Corn Belt and south through the Mississippi Valley could see a frost and even freezing temperatures -- some into the 20s -- later this week into this weekend. That could have a major influence on when the crop starts coming out in some areas.

"It all looks like an early corn harvest to me. Beans will depend on the frost date, I suppose. We may see a lot of corn binned before the bean header is put on," says Agriculture.com Crop Talk senior contributor Jim Meade / Iowa City.

The end of the growing season will definitely arrive later this week in northern and central Minnesota as well as northern Wisconsin as a cold front trails the system that has temperatures in the upper 80s and lower 90s in the Midwest Monday.

"With this cold air, some frost is expected across northern and central Minnesota and northern Wisconsin, where temperatures will drop below the freezing mark and the growing season will likely come to an end," says MDA EarthSat Weather meteorologist Kyle Tapley. "The risk is to the cold side, and the freezing line could reach as far south as far northern Iowa and the Wisconsin/Illinois border on Friday morning."


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