(Posted Mon. Jul 22nd, 2013)
July 22: The U.S. corn crop remains in good condition while making rapid progress toward maturity last week, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report released today. The percentage of the corn crop silking increased by 27 points last week, slightly narrowing the lag behind the five-year average to a 13 point gap. At the same time, crop quality forecasts held strong – with reports indicating 63 percent of the crop to be in good-to-excellent condition. Last year at this time, only 26 percent of the crop still fared as well.
“Early in the season, farmers pushed ahead to plant a record number of acres despite cool, wet conditions across much of the Corn Belt,” said National Corn Growers Association President Pam Johnson, a grower in Floyd, Iowa. “Week after week, we are encouraged by reports that the crop condition remains solid throughout the country and that corn maturity is moving along at a reasonable pace given average planting dates this year. Should favorable weather continue to fuel growth, U.S. corn farmers could produce a record crop in 2013.”
Currently, 89 percent of all corn acres are forecast to be in fair–to-excellent condition, with only 11 percent rated in poor or very poor condition. While the percentage of corn in good condition dropped by three points from last week, the forecast for corn in excellent condition held firm at 17 percent. Last year, only three percent of the crop was estimated to be in excellent condition at this point.
Notably, the USDA report indicates that more than a quarter of the crop was in excellent condition as of July 21 in six states: Pa. (38 percent); Ky. (33); Ohio (29); Ind. (28); N.C. (27); and Tenn. (26).
This week’s corn silking reports indicated that 43 percent of the crop had reached that stage of maturity by July 21, a 27 point increase from the previous week. This trails the five-year average of 56 percent by 13 points but was to be expected due to late plantings this year. While 84 percent of the corn crop had reached the silking stage by this time last year, it is important to note the quality of the crop compared with the maturity when assessing the overall situation.
Crop progress proceeded at a more rapid pace than the five-year average in Ohio, South Dakota and Indiana where the percentage of corn silking exceeded the five-year average by eleven, nine and two points respectively. Progress lagged by the greatest margins in Iowa, Minnesota and Kentucky where the percentage of corn silking fell 36, 27 and 21 points behind the five-year average respectively.
To view the full report released today, click here.