USDA Weekly Crop Progress Report - Corn Mature 21 Percentage Points Behind Five-Year Average

OMAHA (DTN) -- U.S. corn and soybean conditions held mostly steady last week, but both crops are still significantly behind the average pace in reaching maturity, according to USDA NASS' latest Crop Progress report released Monday.

NASS estimated that, as of Sunday, Sept. 15, the U.S. corn crop was 55% in good-to-excellent condition, unchanged from the previous week. That's still the lowest good-to-excellent rating for the crop at this time of year since 2013.

Only 18% of corn was estimated mature as of Sunday, according to NASS. Last year at this same time, half of the crop (51%) had reached maturity. The current maturity is also 21 percentage points behind the five-year average of 39%. That's further behind average than in last Monday's report, when maturity was 13 percentage points behind the five-year average.

Corn in the dough stage was estimated at 93%, 5 percentage points behind the five-year average of 98%. Corn dented was 68%, 19 percentage points behind the five-year average of 87%.

"Fifty percent or less of corn is dented in Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin and South Dakota," said DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman.

In its first corn harvest report of the season, NASS estimated that 4% of the crop had been harvested as of Sunday, led by activity in North Carolina and Texas. That compares to last year's 8% harvested and the five-year average of 7%.

While corn condition was unchanged last week, the condition of the nation's soybean crop fell slightly from 55% good to excellent the previous week to 54% as of Sunday. As with corn, that remains the lowest good-to-excellent rating since 2013, Hultman said.

Soybeans setting pods reached 95% as of Sunday, behind both last year's and the average pace of 100%. Soybeans dropping leaves was estimated at 15%, far behind last year when half of the crop had leaves dropping and 23 percentage points behind the five-year average of 38%.

Spring wheat harvest slowed last week, moving ahead only 5 percentage points from the previous week to reach 76% as of Sunday. That is 17 percentage points behind the five-year average of 93%. Montana remains the slowest to harvest, at 69% complete, Hultman noted.

Planting of next year's winter wheat crop was estimated at 8% complete as of Sunday, according to NASS, slightly behind the average pace of 12%.

"The top three states getting early starts to planting winter wheat were Washington, Colorado and Nebraska," Hultman said.

Sorghum coloring was estimated at 79%, behind the average of 84%. Sorghum mature was estimated at 34%, behind the average of 44%. Sorghum harvested was estimated at 24%, behind the five-year average of 27%. Barley harvested reached 87%, behind the average of 96%. Oats were 92% harvested, also behind the average of 97%.

Cotton bolls opening was estimated at 54%, ahead of the average of 47%. Cotton harvested was estimated at 9%, near the five-year average of 8%. Cotton condition -- for the portion of the crop still in fields -- was rated 41% good to excellent, down 2 percentage points from the previous week's 43% good-to-excellent rating. Rice harvested was 46%, slightly behind the average of 48%.

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