The progress and condition of the U.S. corn and soybean crops all point to a bumper harvest, but increasing temperatures throughout the major growing regions and drought conditions in some regions, like western South Dakota, bear watching.

USDA is reporting that as of July 17, 56% of corn acres are silking. This compares with 47% for this date a year ago and 32% a week ago. The 5-year average for July 17 is 46% of corn silking.

Overall, 76% of corn is rated as being in “good” (58%) or “excellent” (18%) conditions. This is up from last year at this time when 69% of the corn crop was rated “good” (52%) or “excellent” (17%). Currently, 19% of the crop is rated as “fair” and only 5% as “poor” (4%) or “very poor” (1%).

For soybeans, 59% of acres are blooming vs. 51% a year ago on this date, 40% in the previous week and the 5-year average of 49%. As for setting pods, USDA reports that 18% are in this stage compared to 7% a week earlier and 14% last year on July 17. Currently, soybeans are 5% ahead of the 5-year average pace.

No significant shifts in the conditions of soybeans were noted compared to the previous week: 57% “good, “ 14% “excellent.”