USDA’s latest Crop Progress report continues to point toward another strong year for the corn and soybean crops. In almost every category, both crops are rated as good or better than the previous year and 5-year average.

The ag agency reports that 96% of the current corn crop is at the dough stage. This compares to 95% a year ago, 92% last week and the 5-year average of 94%. Some 76% of corn acres are at the dented stage vs. 60% a week earlier and 71% a year earlier. The 5-year average of corn dented as of September 4 is 69%.

The only stage where this year’s corn crop is somewhat behind the 5-year average is in maturity. According to USDA, 18% of corn acres are mature compared with the 5-year average of 20%, but it’s up from this date one year ago, which was 17%.

The condition of the corn crop overall has maintained its high level at 74%, with 54% rated as “good” and 20% rated as “excellent.” Last year on this date, 68% of the corn was rated as “good” (49%) or “excellent” (19%).

As for soybeans, 97% were setting pods as of last Sunday, which ties with the 5-year average, but is slightly better than 95% on this date a year ago. According to USDA, 12% of soybeans are dropping leaves, the same level as the 5-year average, but down from last year’s 15%.

Overall, 73% of the soybean crop was rated as “good” (55%) or “excellent” (18%). This is the same as the previous week, but up from the previous year, when 63% of soybeans were rated as “good” (49%) or “excellent” (14%).