USDA Meteorologist Brad Rippey says one-third of the nation's corn crop was fully mature as of Sept. 5 at 33%, which is ahead of the five-year average of 19% and well ahead of last year's number of just 8%. Numbers were even higher in the Corn Belt specifically.
"Illinois was 57% fully mature by Sept. 5," Rippey said. "The five-year average is only 24% and last year only 3%."
Corn harvest is progressing ahead of schedule as well with 6% of the nation's crop harvested compared to a five-year average of 4% and last year's number of 2%.
"Among the major production states Tennessee is the farthest ahead with 51% harvested," Rippey said. "In the Corn Belt we see Missouri at 16% harvested and Illinois 7% harvested."
Corn condition dropped slightly to 69% good to excellent, which is equal to what was seen this time last year.
Meanwhile soybean conditions are lagging a bit although leaves are dropping at rates above both the five-year average and last season. Nationally soybean conditions are holding steady at 64% good to excellent, same as last week, but 4% below what was seen last year.
Rippey says some of that is being pulled down by some poor to very poor ratings in the southern and eastern parts of the Soybean Belt.