If the U.S. corn and soybean crops continue to progress at their current rate, 2018 could produce at least a few records.
USDA is reporting that 37% of corn acres are silking as of July 8. This compares to 17% a week ago, 18% a year ago and the 5 year average of 18%. For the most part, it’s the major northern producing states that are lagging. Currently, only 8% of corn is silking in Minnesota, 5% in Michigan and 6% in Wisconsin. Illinois is leading the way with 76% of corn acres silking.
The condition of the corn crop, which slipped by 1% vs. the previous week, is also on clip that easily surpasses a year ago. As of this past Sunday, USDA reports that 75% of corn is in “good” (54%) and “excellent” (21%) condition. This compares with 76% last week and 65% a year ago.
Soybeans are also clipping along nicely. As of July 8, it is estimated that 47% of acres are blooming. This up from 27% a week earlier, 32% a year ago and the 5 year average of 27%. USDA reports that 11% of soybeans are setting pods vs. 6% last year on this date and the 5 year average of 4%.
The overall condition of the soybean crops is also holding up well. At this point, 71% is considered to be in “good” (55%) and “excellent” (16%) condition, the same levels reported a week ago. It’s up considerably compared to one year ago when 62% of soybean acres were rated as “good” (52%) or “excellent” (10%) condition.