USDA Weekly Crop Progress Report - Corn, Soybean Good-to-Excellent Condition Ratings Fall Again

OMAHA (DTN) -- U.S. corn and soybean condition ratings continued to fall last week as a flash drought fried crops over a sizeable portion of the Plains and north-central Midwest, USDA NASS said in its weekly Crop Progress report on Monday.

NASS estimated that 62% of the nation's corn crop was in good-to-excellent condition as of Sunday, Aug. 30, down 2 percentage points from 64% the previous week. The crop's current good-to-excellent rating is tied for fifth highest in the past 10 years.

Iowa corn's good-to-excellent rating fell 5 percentage points to 45% last week, and Nebraska corn's good-to-excellent rating was down 2 percentage points to 64%, said DTN Senior Analyst Dana Mantini.

The heat and dryness also pushed corn swiftly toward maturity. Ninety-four percent of corn was in the dough stage as of Sunday, 5 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 89%, and 63% of the crop was dented, 7 percentage points ahead of the average of 56%. Corn mature was estimated at 12%, 2 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 10%.

While corn development was slightly ahead of normal, soybean development continued to run at a near-average pace. Soybeans setting pods was estimated at 95%, just 2 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 93%. Soybeans dropping leaves was estimated at 8%, equal to the five-year average.

Like corn, soybean conditions also declined again last week. NASS estimated that 66% of the nation's soybean crop was in good-to-excellent condition as of Aug. 30, down 3 percentage points from 69% the previous week. The crop's current good-to-excellent rating is still tied for the third highest in 10 years.

Spring wheat harvest continued to make steady progress last week, moving ahead another 20 percentage points to reach 69% complete as of Sunday, bringing it to within 8 percentage points of the five-year average of 77%.

"North Dakota, the largest spring wheat producer, was 59% harvested, down from the five-year average of 75%," said DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman.

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