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Trail Through Corn Field

Crop Progress: Will Corn, Soybean Harvest Come Early?

The nation’s corn and soybean crops continue to mature at a record pace, according to this week’s USDA Crop Progress report.

For the week ending July 15, the agency reported 63% of the nation’s corn crop was silking. That’s nearly double the five-year average for this week, which is 37%. A shocking 93% of corn in Illinois is silking, compared to the five-year average of 57%. Similarly, in Indiana 74% of the cornis silking compared to the five-year-average of 37%. Even in Iowa, despite wet conditions that have stunted some corn crops, 68% of the corn is silking, which is well ahead of the five-year-average of 32%.

“In general crops are maturing quickly, with both corn and soybean development more than a week ahead of the five-year average,” says Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Mike Naig.

While the good to excellent categories lost a few points this week, USDA maintains the corn crop is still in pristine condition.

Soybeans are growing faster than normal this year, too. This week, USDA reports 26% of the nation’s soybean crop is setting pods. The five-year-average is 11%. Similar to corn, soybean crops in Illinois, Indiana and Iowa are moving toward maturity quickly with 44%, 37% and 21% of the crops setting pods, respectively.

Across the country, soybeans continue to thrive, according to USDA. While the agency did shave off a few percentage points in the good rating, 69% of the crop is rated good to excellent, compared to the five-year average of 61%. USDA does recognize a few pockets of farm country where soybeans are struggling, namely, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and North Carolina which all have a minimum of 15% of their soybeans rated poor to very poor this week.

With corn and soybeans growing much faster than they usually do, the question now on many farmers’ minds is, will harvest come early? Future USDA Crop Progress reports are likely to provide the answer.

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