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Weather extremes & crop conditions

Jeff Caldwell 07/11/2011 @ 3:41pm Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

No change. That's just what corn and soybean crop conditions saw in the last week, according to USDA.

Monday's USDA Crop Progress report show 69% of the nation's corn crop and 66% of the soybeans are in good-to-excellent condition. Though the amount of good- and excellent-rated soybeans shifted a percentage point, the total numbers for both crops are identical to last week.

But, a look at the development stages for both crops reveal they remain behind the normal maturation schedule; as of Sunday, only 14% of the nation's corn had begun silking compared to the previous average of 26% by this week. Same for soybeans: Usually, 33% of the bean crop is blooming by this week of the season. As of Sunday, only 21% of this year's crop had begun blooming.

And, that's not the whole story. Some farmers say despite the current crop ratings, there are a lot of acres that will be lucky to raise much this fall.

"There is a lot of corn around here in bottom ground near the river. According to USDA, it [was] all planted on time, but what will it yield?" says Agriculture.com Marketing Talk member Nebrfarmr. "The only problem around here would be that the people that waited out good weather had to wait well into June before they got the planting done, and that requires very short-season corn to ensure no frost damage."

Looking ahead in the near term, though, it's the opposite end of the spectrum that could start to chip away at yield potential in at least part of the Corn Belt, according to Monday's outlook from the Commodity Weather Group (CWG) ag forecast from Monday.

"The rains that have occurred and will occur will help to limit dry spots, but expected heat in the southwest third of the Corn Belt today, this weekend, and again at the middle of the 11-15 day period is likely to cause stress to early pollinating corn (particularly in MO/KS)," according to CWG on Monday.


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