Nothing like triple digit heat to pull all the health out of a crop, and that's what's happening to the nation's corn crop this year. The latest USDA Crop Progress Report has corn falling to 40% good to excellent from 48% just a week ago. That's another 8 percentage point drop for an actual 16.6% drop in condition, as it stands now as much of the nation's crop is rated poor to very poor as it is good to excellent - 40%.
More than half the crop is silking, which is well ahead of average, and this pollination is happening in the face of extreme heat and dryness. While a cold front has finally taken the edge off the heat in most of the Midwest, it's still bad news from a rain standpoint. Spotty rains and a forecast for continued dry weather won't help much now.
Indiana shows just 12% of the crop with good to excellent ratings, with 61% in poor to very poor condition. In Illinois the crop is 19% good to excellent, with 48% in poor to very poor condition. Meanwhile Iowa shows 46% in good to excellent condition and 18% in poor to very poor. Other bright spots include Nebraska, where much of the corn is irrigated, with 47% good to excellent, and 20% poor to very poor. Minnesota is a garden spot for corn at 77% good to excellent and only 5% in the poor to very poor category.
Soybeans: With 44% of the soybean crop blooming, the condition is sliding there too - though soybeans are more likely to recover if rains arrive anytime soon. The crop slipped from 45% good to excellent to 40% good to excellent in the latest report. Missouri has 13% of its soybeans rated good to excellent, Kentucky just 8%, Indiana just 14%.
Bright spots include Iowa at 48% good to excellent, Louisiana at 45%, Mississippi at 71% good to excellent, Minnesota at 72% North Dakota at 71%.
Wheat: With 75% of the winter wheat crop harvested, producers can start to rest more easily if they got a crop in. Late dry weather did take the top off yield for some, but harvest progress is well ahead of average.
For the spring wheat crop, 88% is headed and the condition has slipped some from last week. The crop is down to 66% good to excellent from 71% last week. There are some dry portions of the Dakotas that could hit yields now that the crop is heading. So far 74% of the North Dakota crop is good to excellent; for South Dakota the number is 58%. Washington reports 74% good to excellent, whilc Minndosta is at 61% good to excellent.
Cotton: This crop is staying on schedule with 70% squaring - just ahead of average; and 23% setting bolls, which is very close to average too. Condition of the crop holding pretty steady falling to 44% good to excellent from 47% last week. Mississippi shows 70% good to excellent; Louisiana is 66% good to excellent; California is 95% good to excellent; and Georgia is 58% good to excellent.
Sorghum: About 26% of the crop is headed with 18% coloring, which is about on par with the five-year average. The crop is also holding its own for condition with 32% good to excellent compared with 34% last week, and those numbers are on par with last year's crop.
Check out these key links to track crop progress - graphics updated weekly.