Bouts of extreme heat in much of the Corn Belt are starting to have a bigger influence on crop condition ratings, USDA-NASS stated in its weekly Crop Progress report. The percentage of corn and soybean crops rated good to excellent dropped 2 to 3 percentage points on Tuesday's report, which covered blistering hot days before the Labor Day holiday.
-- Crop progress: USDA said 93% of the corn was in the dough stage and 67% was dented, both slightly above the five-year average pace; 18% of the crop is mature.
-- Crop condition: USDA said 53% of the corn crop was rated good to excellent as of Sept. 3, down from 56% last week and one point lower than a year ago. Illinois fell 10 points to 57% good to excellent, while Iowa fell 5 points to 49%. Kansas and Missouri were the worst-rated at 33% and 32% good to excellent, respectively, said DTN Senior Analyst Dana Mantini.
-- Crop progress: USDA said 95% of soybeans were setting pods, up from the five-year average of 94% for this time of year, and 16% of the crop was dropping leaves.
-- Crop condition: USDA said 53% of the soybean crop was rated good to excellent as of Sept. 3, down from 58% last week and compared to 57% last year. Illinois dropped 10 points to 58%, while Iowa fell 4 points to just 49% good to excellent. Kansas is also the worst-rated, at 25% and down 12 points from last week, Mantini added. That portion of the national crop rated as poor to very poor rose 3 points to 17%
-- Harvest progress: USDA said spring wheat harvest is 74% complete as of Sept. 3, just slightly behind the 77% average. Minnesota is ahead of the average pace at 85%, while North Dakota is still lagging at 64% done compared to the average of 73%, according to Mantini.
-- Crop condition: USDA no longer reports spring wheat condition as too much of the crop has been harvested.
WEATHER OUTLOOK FOR THE WEEK AHEAD
A lot of the country will get a reprieve from the heat and will see widespread light showers this week, according to DTN Ag Meteorologist John Baranick.
"It got hot over the holiday weekend, but we'll see a system squash that over the next couple of days," said Baranick. "The system moved into the Northern Plains on Labor Day and will probably take through Thursday to get through the Eastern Corn Belt. The system may not bring widespread areas of heavy rain like it did over the Northern Plains, but showers should be fairly widespread for a lot of the country with light amounts expected. Temperatures behind the system are seasonably mild to cool and will wash out the heat, reducing stress on immature crops.
"The front to the system will get hung up in the Central Plains, where some isolated areas of showers remain possible for the week. Another system is forecast to move into the Plains this weekend and should move through the Corn Belt early next week with another round of widespread light showers. The system will bring another round of milder air into the country yet again."
Editor's Note: How are your crops looking? Are they better, worse or right on track with USDA NASS' observations this week? Send us your comments, and we'll include them in this Crop Progress report story. You can email comments to Anthony.firstname.lastname@example.org or direct message him on X (formerly Twitter) @AGrederDTN. Please include the location where you farm.Click here to see more...