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Crop slide continues -- USDA

Jeff Caldwell 08/22/2011 @ 3:30pm Agricultural content creator and marketer.

Corn conditions dipped slightly in the last week, USDA reported Monday in the agency's weekly Crop Progress report. But, is the report showing the kind of damage the crop has truly incurred out around the country?

Monday's USDA numbers show corn rated good to excellent slipped by 3% over last week, down to 58%. Each lower category -- very poor, poor and fair -- gained 1 percentage point each. Soybean ratings also slipped -- down 2% from last week, with 59% of the crop in good-to-excellent shape, according to Monday's report.

Farmers say yields, though ranging wider than the conditions reported by USDA, fall well below Monday's USDA estimates. Boone County, Iowa, farmer Kelley Kokemiller says he could raise 180-bushel corn, while western Illinois farmer Steve Clementz says he'll be lucky to raise 90 bushels an acre in his "heavy low ground." And, it doesn't take much ground to show some serious variability in yield prospects.

"I think we will have 100-bushel swings between fields this year and they could be within a mile or 2 of each other," adds Mount Pulaski, Illinois, farmer Doug Martin.


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