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Another stable week for corn, soybeans -- USDA

Jeff Caldwell 08/20/2012 @ 3:46pm Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

Corn conditions were unchanged and and soybeans actually gained a percentage point in the "good" quality category in Monday's USDA Crop Progress report.

Still, despite a general stabilization at current conditions, both crops remain at levels well below normal, quality-wise. As of Sunday, 23% of the nation's corn crop is in good or excellent condition, while the same is true of 31% of the soybean crop.

"The cooler temperatures and scattered rains have allowed crops to mostly maintain their condition and prevent further deterioration for the most part," says Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey. "The entire state remains dry and in need of more rain, especially as the bean crop continues to set and fill pods."

The recent shift in weather conditions -- driven partly by a gradual shift to an El Nino pattern -- could help the soybean crop with its late development, but gains there will likely be minimal, says Freese-Notis Weather, Inc., senior ag meteorologist Craig Solberg.

"August has been the best month of the growing season this year in the Midwest, with temperatures this month running below normal on average, above normal rainfall for eastern and southeastern areas, and now chances for good rains in western areas," he says. "It is probably a case of 'too little, too late' though given the advanced state of maturity of the Corn Belt corn/soybean crops and the beating that those crops took from the historic heat and dryness of June, July and the first few days of this month."

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