U.S. corn and soybeans continue on the torrid pace toward maturation. At the same time, the condition of both crops declined somewhat, according to the USDA.

The ag agency reports that 63% of corn is silking. This is far ahead of the typical crop that was at 37% a week earlier, 37% last year on this date and the 5 year average of 37%. Some have expressed concerns that the crop is maturing too quickly and could lead to some difficulties as it approaches harvest.

Illinois, second only to Iowa in terms of production, is rated at 93% silking, followed closely by Missouri at 91%. Some 68% of Iowa corn is said to be silking, 74% in Indiana, and 65% in Nebraska.

Meanwhile, the condition of the corn crop slipped by 3% vs. the previous week. USDA reports that 72% of the corn crop is in “good” (51%) and “excellent” (21%) condition. This compares to the previous week what 75% was rated as “good” (54%) and “excellent” (21%). A year ago on this date, 64% of the corn crop was said to be in “good” (51%) and “excellent” (13%) condition.

Soybeans, too, are progressing more rapidly than usual. As of Sunday (July 15), 65% of soybeans are blooming. This compares to 47% the week before, 49% last year on this date and the 5 year average of 45%. Overall, 26% of soybeans are setting pods vs. 11% the week prior, 15% last year at this time and 5 year average of 11%.

The condition of this year’s soybean crop slipped 2% compared to a week earlier. As of Sunday, 69% of soybeans were rated as “good” (53%) and “excellent” (16%). This compares with 71% a week ago when 71% were reported to be “good” (55%) and “excellent” (16%). A year earlier, 61% of soybeans were rated as “good” (51%) and “excellent” (10%).