Crop Conditions Slightly Less Than Expected

USDA released their weekly crop condition reports yesterday for the week ending July 28th.  The weather for most of that week was cool with widespread rains, although the western cornbelt remained dry expectations by analysts were for steady to improving conditions as plants saw relief from the heat of two weeks ago.  Weather for this upcoming week is expected to remain non-stressful with temperatures all over the corn belt forecasted to be average to slightly below.  Precipitations amount are forecasted to be average although areas of the Northwestern cornbelt remain dry.

The U.S. corn crop saw a big jump in silking progress, advancing to 71% complete versus only 43% the week before.  The crop is now just 4% behind average progress with the bulk of the delays in Minnesota and Iowa where planting was the latest.  The report also showed 8% of the crop advancing to the dough stage, compared to 17% on average.  Condition ratings for the week held steady at 63% good to excellent, well above last year at this time (24%) and remaining above the five and ten year averages.  Changes in all reportable states were minimal with little geographic pattern.

The U.S. soybean crop is reported to be 65% in bloom, still behind the five year average of 74%, but not unexpectedly so given the late planting.  The crop is also reported to be 20% setting pods compared to 34% on average and 8% last week.  Condition ratings for the nations crop as a whole fell 1% to 63% good to excellent but remain well above both the five and ten year averages for this time of year.  Most changes in condition ratings were minor, however, Mississippi saw an 8% drop, North Carolina a 6% drop, and South Dakota a 5% drop.

Wheat progress showed steady advancement of both the winter wheat and spring wheat crops.  Winter wheat harvest is reported at 81% complete compared to 82% on average and 75% last week. Harvest is complete is virtually complete in the southern plains (Colorado is just finishing up) and combines have moved north into Nebraska and South Dakota.  For spring wheat, USDA is reporting the crop is 94% headed versus 95% on average with North Dakota and Montana the only remaining areas.  Condition ratings were mixed but basically steady.  The crop lost 2% of condition from the excellent category down to good, although the crop itself remains 68% good to excellent.  The crop did show a 1% decline out of the fair category and into the poor/very poor category.  The crop as a whole is just at the five year average for ratings for this week and above the 10 year average.

State by State Reports

North Dakota

For the week ending July 28, 2013, cooler temperatures across the state last week were beneficial for small grains but the lack of moisture is starting to be detrimental for all crops, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. With temperatures last week averaging 4 to 10 degrees below normal, row crop development was at or behind normal pace and warmer temperatures are needed.  Crops in many areas of the state are stressed by the lack of moisture and rainfall is needed soon to improve crop development. Statewide, there were 6.6 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 3 percent very short, 30 short, 58 adequate, and 9 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 3 percent very short, 22 short, 68 adequate, and 7 surplus.

Spring wheat headed was 93 percent, behind 100 last year but near 95 average. Turning color was 32 percent, well behind last year at 92 and 45 average. Ripe was 2 percent. Condition rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 20 fair, 63 good, and 13 excellent. Durum wheat headed was 91 percent, behind last year’s 100 but ahead of 84 average.  Turning color was 20 percent, behind 68 last year and 28 average. Condition rated 0 percent very poor, 2 poor, 19 fair, 72 good, and 7 excellent.

Canola blooming was 97 percent, behind 100 last year but near 99 average. Turning color was 15 percent, behind 75 last year and 36 average. Condition rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 16 fair, 66 good, and 14 excellent.

Sugarbeet condition rated 2 percent very poor, 8 poor, 31 fair, 49 good, and 10 excellent.

Corn silking was 51 percent, behind last year’s 94 but near 50 average. Condition rated 2 percent very poor, 7 poor, 21 fair, 58 good, and 12 excellent.

Soybean blooming was 75 percent, behind 2012 at 97 and average at 81. Setting pods was 26 percent, well behind 84 last year and 42 average. Condition rated 1 percent very poor, 5 poor, 26 fair, 58 good, and 10 excellent.

Potatoes blooming were 86 percent, behind 98 last year and 93 average. Rows filled were 35 percent, well behind 86 last year and 61 average. Condition rated 7 percent very poor, 12 poor, 42 fair, 33 good, and 6 excellent.

Dry edible pea flowering was 98 percent, behind last year at 100 but equal to 98 average. Mature was 13 percent, well behind 83 last year and 47 average. Condition rated 1 percent very poor, 5 poor, 17 fair, 70 good, and 7 excellent.

Dry edible bean blooming was 62 percent, behind last year at 97 and 78 average. Setting pods was 17 percent, behind 81 last year and 36 average. Condition rated 2 percent very poor, 5 poor, 35 fair, 50 good, and 8 excellent.

Sunflower blooming was 5 percent, behind 47 last year and 17 average. Condition rated 0 percent very poor, 4 poor, 13 fair, 69 good, and 14 excellent.

First cutting of alfalfa hay was 99 percent complete. Second cutting of alfalfa hay was 19 percent complete. Alfalfa hay condition rated 1 percent very poor, 3 poor, 13 fair, 53 good, and 30 excellent.

South Dakota

For the week ending July 28, 2013, cooler than normal temperatures closed out the week, according to the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. The corn crop is looking very good in many areas of the state, though timely rains are needed to meet yield potential as it moves into the reproductive stages. Wheat harvest continues to gain momentum.  Statewide, there were 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 7 percent very short, 24 short, 65 adequate, and 4 surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 7 percent very short, 26 short, 63 adequate, and 4 surplus.

Field Crops Report: Winter wheat turning color was 99 percent, behind 100 last year and average. Ripe was 72 percent, behind 100 last year and 92 average. Harvested were 21 percent, well behind 100 last year and 60 average.

Spring wheat turning color was 91 percent, behind 100 last year and near 90 average. Ripe was 21 percent, well behind 99 last year and 46 average. Harvested were 3 percent, also well behind 78 last year and 22 average. Condition rated 6 percent very poor, 6 poor, 39 fair, 45 good, and 4 excellent.

Corn silking was 69 percent, behind 78 last year but ahead of 45 average. Dough was 4 percent, behind 16 last year but near 5 average. Condition rated 2 percent very poor, 3 poor, 22 fair, 52 good, and 21 excellent.

Soybean blooming was 74 percent, behind last year’s 90 and 77 average. Setting pods were 19 percent, behind 49 last year and 26 average. Condition rated 1 percent very poor, 4 poor, 27 fair, 52 good, and 16 excellent.

Sorghum headed was 41 percent, behind 44 last year but ahead of 24 average. Coloring was 1 percent, behind 2 last year but equal to 1 average. Condition rated 0 percent very poor, 3 poor, 32 fair, 59 good, and 6 excellent.

Sunflower blooming was 11 percent, behind last year at 37 but near 14 average. Condition rated 10 percent very poor, 8 poor, 27 fair, 51 good, and 4 excellent.

The second cutting of alfalfa was 75 percent complete, behind 2012 at 89 but ahead of 68 average. The third cutting of alfalfa was 3 percent complete, behind 28 last year and 7 average. Alfalfa hay condition rated 0 percent very poor, 4 poor, 28 fair, 62 good, and 6 excellent.