All this talk of hot weather and small corn missed one key point, apparently, cooler days and a few showers in the Corn Belt which edged the latest corn condition report a little higher. In fact, the latest USDA figures show 72% of the corn as good to excellent in condition. The Fair (23%) and Poor (4%) numbers didn't move from the previous week.
And the corn crop is holding up better than it did by this time in 2011 when only 67% was good to excellent. This latest condition report comes with 97% of the corn emerged which is well ahead of the five-year average.
Meanwhile, the first soybean condition ratings have been released as well with 94% planted and 79% emerged the crop is rated 65% good to excellent. This condition report has been released earlier than last year so there's no year-to-year comparison available. About 34% of the crop is rated fair to poor and 1% is listed as very poor.
Winter wheat harvest is moving right along with 20% of the crop harvested, which is more than six times the five-year average. Kansas reported the combines rolling the earliest they have in 60 years. Condition of the crop not harvested continues to dip with 52% showing good to excellent compared to 54% last week. The crop, however, is running well ahead of last year's for condition when reports for this same week showed only 34% good to excellent.
Spring wheat has started heading in the 6 key states with South Dakota reporting 21% headed. Condition for the crop is 78% good to excellent, which is only down 1% point from last week.
Cotton is running ahead of schedule too with squaring already far past the five-year average. Cotton condition rations show this fiber crop is 54% good to excellent, but 46% is rated fair and lower which is a slip from previous-week numbers.
For other crops in today's report:
Sunflowers: 60% of the crop is planted, well ahead of the 41% five-year average. North Dakota leads the way with 80% of the crop in the ground, Colorado, South Dakota and Kansas all report 45% of their crops planted.
Sorghum: 74% of the crop is in the ground and the first crop ratings have been listed this week too - ahead of schedule. 50% of the crop is in good to excellent condition. 41% is listed as fair and 9% is listed as poor to very poor.
Peanuts: 93% of peanuts are planted with Virginia listed as 100% complete. 61% of the crop is listed in good to excellent condition with 39% listed as fair to poor. The peanut crop condition is running better than last year at this time when only 29% of the crop was good to excellent.
Rice: 94% of the crop is planted and 65% of the crop is rated good to excellent, which is a slip down from last week when 69% of the crop was rated good to excellent. Hot, dry weather can take its tool on this crop as conditions in Arkansas have seen the biggest slide.