Here’s the latest planting update excerpted from the July 28 USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service bulletin (for week ending July 25):
Corn: Silking advanced 24 points during the week, leaving progress, at 55 percent complete, on par with last year, but 21 points behind the 5-year average. Under ideal growing conditions, development was most rapid in the Corn Belt. Thirty-four percent of the crop began silking in Iowa and Minnesota during the week, while 27 percent of the crop in Illinois reached the silking stage. Meanwhile, 7 percent of the Nation’s corn acreage was at or beyond the dough stage, equaling the maturity pace from a year ago, but 10 points slower than normal. At 80 percent complete, doughing was most advanced in North Carolina, while the crop had yet to reach the dough stage in Iowa and Minnesota, as well as in the northern Great Plains and Great Lakes regions. Overall, 70 percent of the corn crop was rated in good to excellent condition, down slightly from a week ago, but up 4 points from a year ago.
Soybeans: Nationally, 63 percent of this year’s soybean crop was at or beyond the blooming stage, 3 points ahead of last year, but 13 points behind the average. Following a sluggish start to spring planting, crop development advanced rapidly across much of the growing region, but remained at or behind the average pace in all States except South Dakota. Pod set was evident in 20 percent of the 2009 soybean crop by July 26, one point ahead of last year, but 16 points behind the 5-year average. Pod set had begun in all estimating States, but was most advanced in the Delta, with Mississippi leading all States at 86 percent complete. Overall, 67 percent of the crop was rated in good to excellent condition, unchanged from last week, but 5 points better than last year.