WASHINGTON — As we inch closer to fall and eventual harvest, the corn crop in the US continues to develop at a quicker pace than both last year and the 5-year average. As of earlier this week, just over half of the crop had already reached the dough stage of development, and 12% of the crop was dented. The 5-year average pace for these stages is 37% and 6%, respectively. But while development is moving swiftly, dry weather has lowered the crop’s condition slightly. Although still ahead of last year’s 60% in good/excellent condition, this week’s rating of 71% in good/excellent condition is a one point decline from the previous week. Corn rated as being in poor condition increased one point from last week, bringing the total corn in poor/very poor condition to 10%. Last year at this time, this rating was 13%.
It’s no surprise that some of the worst corn conditions are found in states like Texas, Missouri, and Kansas since drought conditions have been present throughout the season. The northern portion of Missouri continues to experience the worst of the state’s drought with widespread extreme drought conditions, although since last week, severe drought conditions expanded into the southwestern portion of the state as well. Currently, around 44% of the state’s crop is in poor or very poor condition. Further to the north and to the east, major corn-producing states from Ohio to Iowa and from the Dakotas to Nebraska have only a few pockets of dryness. Michigan, however, has been battling some abnormal dryness and moderate drought since July. This progression of dryness has impacted the state’s crop condition. Although nearly half of the corn is still rated in good/excellent condition, just over 20% is rated as being poor/very poor.
Unfortunately for Michigan and northern Missouri, the forecast is expected to continue to trend drier than normal over the next couple weeks. Through mid-week next week, minimal rains are expected across these areas, although much of the South Central is expected to receive several inches of rain. Southern Texas could miss out on this moisture, however. Looking a bit longer-term, at the second half of August, precipitation is projected to trend on the drier than normal side across much of the Upper Plains and into Michigan as well as in much of Texas. Wetter than normal trends are forecast for Oklahoma into Tennessee, while many from Ohio to Nebraska trend closer to normal in terms of rainfall. Missouri could pick up some much-needed rainfall during the second half of the month, but it would likely only make a small dent in drought, if any. Temperatures during the latter half of the month are expected to trend near to slightly warmer than normal, and generally warmer than last year overall for much of the growing region. It is important to keep in mind that while the overall trend for this period is on the warmer side, day-to-day trends will likely vary and heat waves cannot be ruled out.
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