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Midwest and Plains Crop Progress: Conditions Decline in Many Areas

Ernst Undesser
By Anthony Greder, DTN Managing Editor, and Russ Quinn, DTN Staff Reporter July 11, 2017

Midwest and Plains Crop Progress: Conditions Decline in Many Areas

Corn, soybean and spring wheat conditions all declined last week, according to USDA’s weekly Crop Progress report released Monday.

Corn condition dropped to 65% good to excellent last week, down 3 percentage points from 68% the previous week. Silking was behind normal with 19% of the crop silking as of Sunday, down from 30% a year ago and down from the five-year average of 27%.

“This week’s 65% good-to-excellent rating resulted in a DTN Corn Condition Index of 155, down 8 points from last week. DTN’s index is down from 183 a year ago and is still the lowest value in four years. Monday’s report is bullish for corn,” said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman.

USDA also reported a drop in soybean conditions, from 64% good to excellent the previous week to 62% last week. Thirty-four percent of soybeans were blooming, down from 37% a year ago, but above the five-year average of 32%. Seven percent of soybeans were setting pods, which was up from 6% a year ago and above the five-year average of 5%.

“Soybeans’ 62% good-to-excellent rating resulted in a DTN Soybean Condition Index of 147, which is down 7 points from last week,” Hultman said. “The index is down from 172 a year ago and is also lowest value of the past four years. Monday’s report is bullish for soybeans.”

Spring wheat conditions also continued to decline with just 35% of the crop rated as good to excellent last week, down 2 percentage points from the previous week’s 37%. This week’s report showed 79% of spring wheat was headed, down from 89% a year ago, but above the five-year average of 74%.

“Spring wheat’s 35% good-to-excellent rating resulted in a DTN Spring Wheat Condition Index of 44, down 21 points from a week ago. The index is down from 164 a year ago and is still the lowest since 1988. Monday’s report remains bullish for spring wheat,” Hultman said.

In other crop reports, cotton squaring was 61% as of Sunday, near the average of 60%, and cotton setting bolls was 19%, slightly ahead of the average of 17%. Rice was 22% headed, slightly behind the five-year average of 23%.

Sorghum headed was 28%, near the average pace of 27%, and sorghum coloring was 18%, also near the average pace of 17%. Barley headed was 72%, behind the average pace of 78%. Oats were 93% headed, near the average pace of 92%, and 10% of oats were harvested as of Sunday, behind the average of 13%.

The following are highlights from weekly crop progress reports issued by National Ag Statistics Service offices in individual states.

Grain Commentary


Colorado

Hot and dry conditions pushed winter wheat harvest just ahead of the average last week. Although some counties received isolated moisture, hot and windy conditions resulted in a decline in soil moisture and associated dryland crop and pasture conditions. Days suitable for fieldwork is 6.7%, the same as the previous week. Topsoil moisture is 9% very short, 33% short, 56% adequate and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture is 5% very short, 23% short, 70% adequate and 2% surplus.

Corn silking is 1% with 7% the five-year average. Corn crop condition is 18% very poor to poor, 15% and 67% good to excellent. Barley headed is 92% and turning color 15%. Barley crop condition is 23% fair and 77% good to excellent. Sorghum emerged is 97%. Sorghum headed is 1% and five-year average is 7%. Sorghum crop condition is 12% very poor to poor, 31% fair and 58% good to excellent.

Winter wheat mature is 92% with 82% the five-year average. Winter wheat harvested is 47% with the five-year average 29%. Winter wheat crop condition is 21% very poor to poor, 36% fair and 43% good to excellent.

Illinois

Fieldwork continued over the past week with limited rain in parts of the state. There were 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork. Statewide, the average temperature was 76.3 degrees, 0.5 degree above normal. Precipitation averaged 0.46 inch, 0.34 inch below normal. Topsoil moisture supply was rated at 6% very short, 32% short, 61% adequate and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture supply was rated at 4% very short, 25% short, 70% adequate and 1% surplus.

Corn silking jumped to 33%, compared to 45% for the five-year average. Corn condition was rated at 2% very poor, 7% poor, 28% fair, 50% good and 13% excellent. Soybeans blooming reached 31%, compared with 36% last year. Soybeans setting pods was at 5%, compared to 6% last year. Soybean condition was rated 2% very poor, 8% poor, 24% fair, 56% good, and 10% excellent.

Winter wheat harvest was 95% complete, compared to the five-year average of 86%.

Indiana

Thunderstorms in the latter part of the week limited field activity for a fourth straight week. Producers in southern counties and in the northwestern part of the state welcomed the rain as it helped to improve crop condition in those areas. Elsewhere, excessive rain saturated soils, drowned crops and left standing water in fields. As water levels of rivers rose, so did concerns for the potential of additional flooding with the forecast of more rain.

The statewide average temperature was 74 degrees, 0.7 degree below normal. Statewide, precipitation was 1.37 inches, above average by 0.60 inch. There were 4.3 days available for fieldwork, unchanged from the previous week. Topsoil moisture is 1% very short, 7% short, 70% adequate and 22% surplus. Subsoil moisture is 1% very short, 8% short, 74% adequate and 17% surplus.

Corn silking is 19% with 27% the five-year average. Corn crop condition is 17% very poor to poor, 35% fair and 48% good to excellent. Soybeans blooming is 31% with the five-year average 32%. Soybeans setting pods is 1% with the five-year average 5%. Soybeans crop condition is 14% very poor to poor, 36% fair and 50% good to excellent.

Winter wheat mature is 98%. Winter wheat harvested is 78%. Winter wheat crop condition is 9% very poor to poor, 28% fair and 63% good to excellent.

Iowa

Hot, dry weather prevailed across Iowa last week. Statewide, there were 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork. Activities for the week included hauling grain, applying herbicides, cultivating and haying.

Topsoil moisture levels rated 12% very short, 28% short, 58% adequate and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 7% very short, 22% short, 69% adequate and 2% surplus. Over one-half of southeast Iowa’s topsoil has fallen to the very short moisture level category with almost one-third of the subsoil also in the very short moisture level category.

Seven percent of Iowa’s corn crop has reached the silking stage, six days behind the five-year average. As corn in the state begins pollination, many reporters mentioned the need for rain in the next few weeks. Seventy-seven percent of the corn crop was rated in good to excellent condition. One-third of the soybean crop was blooming, with five percent of soybeans setting pods, three days ahead of average. Soybean condition rated 67% good to excellent.

Nearly all the oat crop has headed with half turning color or beyond, one week behind last year and three days behind average. Oat condition rated 76% good to excellent. Scattered reports of oats harvested for grain were received.

Kansas

Near-normal temperatures were experienced across the majority of the state last week. Relatively dry conditions were seen throughout much of Kansas, with some counties receiving 1 inch or less of rain. The warm, dry weather aided the progression of winter wheat harvest. There were 6.1 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture rated 6% very short, 24% short, 67% adequate and 3% surplus. Subsoil moisture rated 3% very short, 17% short, 78% adequate and 2% surplus.

Winter wheat harvested was 93%, near 89% both last year and for the five-year average. Corn condition rated 1% very poor, 7% poor, 31% fair, 51% good and 10% excellent. Corn silking was 36%, behind 45% last year and 42% average. Soybean condition rated 1% very poor, 4% poor, 31% fair, 59% good and 5% excellent. Soybeans blooming was 27%, ahead of 18% last year and 19% average. Setting pods was 3%, near 1% both last year and average.

Sorghum condition rated 1% very poor, 4% poor, 28% fair, 63% good and 4% excellent. Sorghum emerged was 94%. Headed was 4%, behind 11% last year, but equal to average. Cotton condition rated 1% very poor, 4% poor, 19% fair, 65% good and 11% excellent. Cotton squaring was 18%, behind 32% last year and 33% average.

Michigan

There were 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork in Michigan last week. Warm weather allowed producers to catch up on spraying, gathering hay off fields, fertilizing and other fieldwork activities. Days suitable for fieldwork is 5.4 days up from the previous week’s 4.2 days. Topsoil moisture is 5% very short, 19% short, 61% adequate and 15% surplus. Subsoil moisture is 4% very short, 17 short, 67% adequate and 12% surplus.

Corn silking is 2% with five-year average 6%. Corn crop condition is 10% very poor to poor, 23% fair and 67% good to excellent. Soybeans blooming is 23% with 25% being the five-year average. Soybeans setting pods is 3% with 1% the five-year average. Soybeans crop condition is 11% very poor to poor, 24% fair and 65% good to excellent.

Winter wheat mature is 64%. Winter wheat harvested is 10% with 18% the five-year average. Winter wheat crop condition is 9% very poor to poor, 15% fair and 76% good to excellent. Oats headed is 79% with five-year average 91%. Oat crop condition is 8% very poor to poor, 25% fair and 67% good to excellent.

Minnesota

Hot, humid weather arrived last week, allowing for 5.7 days suitable for fieldwork. Despite some storms in the west-central part of the state, many Minnesota farmers hope for rain in the coming weeks to aid in crop development. Field activities for the week included cutting forage and hay, and a few reports of spraying fungicides on wheat.

Topsoil moisture supplies decreased slightly from the previous week, rating 2% very short, 17% short, 78% adequate and 3% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies also decreased slightly, rating 1% very short, 10% short, 85% adequate and 4% surplus.

There were scattered reports that corn had begun silking. Corn crop condition rated 80% good to excellent. Soybean blooming was four days behind the five-year average with 25% of the crop at or beyond the blooming stage. Soybean condition rated 73% good to excellent.

The spring wheat crop was nearly finished heading, with 95% of the crop headed. Fifteen percent of spring wheat was coloring. Spring wheat condition rated 85% good to excellent. Ninety-two percent of the oat crop had reached the heading stage, with 26% of oats coloring. Oats condition was 82% good to excellent. The barley crop nearly finished heading, with 95% of the crop headed, and 14% of the crop coloring. Barley condition rated 84% good to excellent.

Missouri

Temperatures last week averaged 76.7 degrees, 0.8 degree below normal. Precipitation averaged 1 inch statewide, 0.14 inch above normal. Statewide, topsoil moisture supply was rated 2% very short, 14% short, 79% adequate and 5% surplus. Subsoil moisture supply was rated 2% very short, 11% short, 84% adequate and 3% surplus. Corn silking progressed to 51%, up 26 percentage points from last week.

Corn condition was rated 68% good to excellent. Soybeans blooming reached 23% and setting pods reached 2%. Soybean condition was rated 62% good to excellent. Cotton squaring reached 68% and setting bolls reached 9%. Cotton condition was rated 62% good to excellent. Rice headed was at 10%. Rice condition was rated 73% good to excellent.

Nebraska

Temperatures averaged 2 to 6 degrees above normal last week. Moderate amounts of precipitation covered most of the western counties and eastern parts of the panhandle; however, the eastern half of the state remained dry. Statewide, topsoil moisture supplies were rated 24% very short, 41 short% and 35% adequate. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 16% very short, 38% short and 46% adequate.

Corn silking was 14%, behind 23% for the five-year average. Corn condition was rated 68% good to excellent. Soybeans blooming was 51%, ahead of 35% average. Soybean condition was rated 66% good to excellent. Winter wheat mature was 85% and harvested was 52%, ahead of the average pace of 38% harvested. Sorghum headed was 4%, near 2% average. Sorghum condition was rated 66% good to excellent. Oats harvested was 26%, near 27% average.

North Dakota

Even though many areas of the state received rainfall last week, much more was needed to help both crops and livestock. Despite some recent rain, most of North Dakota was experiencing drought conditions. Some producers in the west planned to bale wheat for livestock feed.

Temperatures averaged 2 to 6 degrees above normal in the east, while the west averaged 6 to 10 degrees above normal. Statewide, topsoil moisture supplies were rated 29% very short, 33% short, 36% adequate and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 20% very short, 31% short, 47% adequate and 2% surplus.

Corn silking was 4%, behind 9% for the five-year average. Corn condition was rated 52% good to excellent. Soybeans blooming was 24%, behind 31% average, and setting pods was 1%, near 2% average. Soybean condition was rated 47% good to excellent. Winter wheat headed was 95%, coloring was 47% and mature was 24%. Spring wheat jointed was 98%, headed was 79% and coloring was 10%. Spring wheat condition was rated 36% good to excellent.

Barley jointed was 98%, headed was 81% and coloring was 9%, well behind 41% coloring last year. Barley condition was rated 43% good to excellent. Oats jointed was 98%, headed was 82% and coloring was 21%. Oats condition was rated 19% good to excellent. Durum wheat jointed was 97%, headed was 53% and coloring was 9%. Durum wheat condition was rated 32% good to excellent. Canola blooming was 82% and coloring was 8%. Canola condition was rated 42% good to excellent.

Ohio

Rain throughout the week was beneficial in the northwestern part of the state where dry conditions have prevailed, but in central and southern counties, continued rain events have saturated soils and caused ponding in fields, raising concerns of root diseases in corn and soybeans. Statewide, topsoil moisture was rated 3% short, 73% adequate and 24% surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 4% short, 77% adequate and 19% surplus.

Corn silking was 10%, behind the average pace of 16%. Corn condition was rated 53% good to excellent. Soybeans were 25% blooming, ahead of the average of 23%, and soybeans setting pods was 1%. Soybean conditions were rated 53% good to excellent. Winter wheat was 77% harvested as of Sunday, well ahead of the average pace of 49%. Oats were 96% headed and 18% harvested.

Oklahoma

Precipitation totals were above normal last week, with the largest departure 40% above in the east-central district. Precipitation ranged from 0.61 inch in the Panhandle and east-central districts to 4.14 inches in the southeast district. As of July 4, drought condition was rated 11% moderate to exceptional, down 1 point from the previous week.

Statewide, temperatures averaged in the low 90s. Topsoil moisture was rated 4% very short, 39% short, 55% adequate and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 3% very short, 40% short, 56% adequate and 1% surplus.

Canola harvested reached 93%, down 5 points from normal. Oats harvested reached 90%, up 7 points from normal. Corn silk reached 38%, down 11 points from normal. Sorghum headed reached 17%, equal to normal. Soybeans planted reached 91%, unchanged from normal. Soybeans emerged reached 82%, unchanged from normal, and soybeans blooming reached 3%, down 4 points from normal. Cotton squaring reached 45%, up 17 points from the previous year and up 13 points from normal.

South Dakota

Hot and dry conditions persisted across the state last week. Average temperatures were above normal across the state, with temperatures in western South Dakota averaging 4 to 10 degrees above normal. A limited amount of scattered rain fell. Crop conditions continued to decline. Statewide, topsoil moisture supplies were rated 37% very short, 42% short, 20% adequate and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 32% very short, 39% short, 28% adequate and 1% surplus.

Winter wheat harvested was 14%, equal to the five-year average. Spring wheat headed was 98%, coloring was 61% and mature was 12%. Spring wheat condition was rated 10% good to excellent. Oats harvested was 5%, near 9% average. Barley headed was 95% and coloring was 47%, ahead of the average of 30% coloring. Barley condition was rated 1% good to excellent.

Corn silking was 2%, behind 11% average. Corn condition was rated 37% good to excellent. Soybeans blooming was 29%, behind 38% average, and setting pods was 1%, near 2% average. Soybean condition was rated 34% good to excellent. Sorghum emerged was 97% and headed was 4%. Sorghum condition was rated 9% good to excellent.

Texas

Cooler temperatures were experienced across the state early in the week. As the week progressed, most areas of the state reported scattered showers, with isolated reports of heavy rain. Areas of the Edwards Plateau, Blacklands and northeast Texas received up to 6 inches of rainfall, while the rest of the state experienced from trace amounts to upwards of 2 inches of precipitation.

Statewide, topsoil moisture was rated 10% very short, 23% short, 57% adequate and 10% surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 7% very short, 29% short, 55% adequate and 9% surplus.

Corn was 65% silked, 53% in the dough stage, 46% dented and 15% mature. Corn condition was rated 67% good to excellent. Cotton was 55% squaring, 18% setting bolls and 3% bolls opening. Rice was 70% headed, well ahead of the average pace of 51%. Sorghum was 24% harvested as of Sunday, ahead of the average pace of 16%. Soybeans were 60% blooming, ahead of the average of 52%, and 15% were setting pods, also ahead of the average pace of 8%. Soybean conditions were rated 63% good to excellent.

Wisconsin

Temperatures were close to average across the state last week, with daytime highs in the 80s and 90s. However, scattered showers and thunderstorms kept fields from drying out in some areas. Reporters noted that crops on higher ground and lighter soils improved with the week’s heat, while crops on low ground and heavy soils were showing signs of stress.

Statewide, topsoil moisture supplies were rated 2% short, 75% adequate and 24% surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 1% short, 77% adequate and 22% surplus.

Corn condition was 69% good to excellent, 2 percentage points below the previous week. Twenty-two percent of the state’s soybeans have bloomed, one day ahead of average. Soybean condition was 74% good to excellent, 1 percentage point below the previous week.

Oats headed was reported at 85%, two days behind the average, and oats turning color was reported at 28% complete, six days behind last year. Oats condition was 78% good to excellent, the same as the previous week. Winter wheat coloring was reported at 80%, five days behind last year. Winter wheat was 78% in good-to-excellent condition statewide, 3 percentage points above the previous week.

National Crop Progress Summary
This Last Last 5-Year
Week Week Year Avg.
Corn Silking 19 10 30 27
Soybeans Blooming 34 18 37 32
Soybeans Setting Pods 7 NA 6 5
Winter Wheat Harvested 67 53 65 65
Spring Wheat Headed 79 59 89 74
Cotton Squaring 61 45 55 60
Cotton Setting Bolls 19 13 18 17
Sorghum Headed 28 25 31 27
Sorghum Coloring 18 NA 16 17
Oats Headed 93 85 95 92
Oats Harvested 10 NA 12 13
Barley Headed 72 51 87 78
Rice Headed 22 14 27 23
National Crop Condition Summary
(VP=Very Poor; P=Poor; F=Fair; G=Good; E=Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
VP P F G E VP P F G E VP P F G E
Corn 3 7 25 52 13 2 6 24 55 13 1 4 19 58 18
Soybeans 3 8 27 52 10 2 7 27 54 10 1 5 23 57 14
Spring Wheat 19 20 26 29 6 13 20 30 30 7 2 5 23 60 10
Sorghum 1 5 31 56 7 3 35 57 5 2 29 58 11
Cotton 4 8 27 47 14 2 10 34 43 11 1 10 35 45 9
Barley 7 12 30 41 10 5 12 31 41 11 1 3 22 59 15
Oats 8 12 27 45 8 7 13 27 45 8 3 6 24 56 11
Rice 4 24 48 24 4 23 51 22 2 5 25 53 15

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Ernst Undesser
By Anthony Greder, DTN Managing Editor, and Russ Quinn, DTN Staff Reporter July 11, 2017