USDA Weekly Crop Progress - Corn, Soybean Good-to-Excellent Ratings Lowest in 7 Years

OMAHA (DTN) -- The condition of the U.S. corn crop improved slightly last week and the condition of soybeans held steady, according to the latest USDA NASS Crop Progress report released Monday. However, good-to-excellent ratings for both crops remain the worst they've been in seven years.

NASS pegged corn condition at 58% good to excellent as of Sunday, July 28, up 1 percentage point from 57% the previous week, but still the lowest good-to-excellent rating for this time of year in seven years, said DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman. Eighteen percent of corn in Illinois was rated poor or very poor, he noted.

Meanwhile, NASS estimated the condition of soybeans at 54% good to excellent, unchanged from the previous week and also the lowest good-to-excellent rating since 2012, Hultman said.

Development of both corn and soybeans jumped significantly last week, but continued to lag well behind the average pace.

Fifty-eight percent of corn was silking as of Sunday, NASS estimated, up 23 percentage points from 35% the previous week but still 25 percentage points behind the five-year average of 83%. Corn in the dough stage was pegged at 13%, up 8 percentage points from 5% the previous week but 10 percentage points behind the average of 23%.

The portion of the U.S. soybean crop that was blooming jumped 17 percentage points last week to reach 57% as of Sunday. That was 22 percentage points behind the five-year average of 79%.

Soybeans setting pods jumped 14 percentage points to reach 21% as of Sunday, 24 percentage points behind the average pace of 45%

Winter wheat harvest moved ahead another 6 percentage points last week to reach 75% complete as of Sunday, behind last year's 84% and 11 percentage points behind the five-year average of 86%.

However, harvest appeared to be suffering no obvious consequences despite being later than usual, Hultman said.

"Winter wheat harvest is moving slowly northward with Kansas 98% complete, Nebraska at 55% and South Dakota at 24%," Hultman said.

Spring wheat heading was nearly complete, at 97% as of Sunday, and was near the five-year average of 98%.

"NASS estimated that 73% of spring wheat was in good-to-excellent condition, down from 76% last week and below 78% a year ago as conditions have been drier," Hultman said. "Montana shows the largest problem area with 14% rated poor or very poor, followed by Idaho at 11% poor to very poor."

Sorghum heading reached 33% as of Sunday, behind both last year's 52% and the five-year average of 50%. Sorghum coloring was estimated at 21%, behind the average of 25%. Sorghum condition was rated 71% good to excellent, down 2 percentage points from the previous week. Oats were 97% headed, behind the average of 100%, and 21% of the crop was harvested, also behind the average of 35%.

Cotton squaring reached 86% as of Sunday, near the average pace of 87%. Cotton setting bolls was 45%, slightly behind the average of 48%. Cotton condition was rated 61% good to excellent, up 1 percentage point from the previous week. Rice headed was pegged at 42%, behind the average of 57%. Rice condition was rated 68% good to excellent, up 3 percentage points from the previous week.

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