National Agricultural Summary 8/11 – 8/17/2008

Corn: Cool, mostly dry weather prevailed across the Corn Belt. Development of corn acreage to the silking stage reached 97 percent, lagging last year’s pace by 3 points and trailing the 5-year average by 2 points. Silking was complete or nearly complete in all States. Nearly half of the crop was at or beyond the dough stage by week’s end, 28 points behind last year and 19 points behind the average pace. Progress was behind the 5-year average in all States except Colorado and Michigan, where development to the dough stage was ahead by 12 and 18 points, respectively. Progress in North Dakota was 37 points behind the average pace of development to the dough stage. Fourteen percent of the national corn acreage reached the dent stage by week’s end, 24 points behind the previous year and 16 points behind normal. Acreage in Tennessee and North Carolina was most developed by week’s end, with 70 and 75 percent of the acreage, respectively, reaching or exceeding the dent stage. Condition of the corn crop remained unchanged nationally from last week’s 67 percent good to excellent rating. Changes in condition from last week at the State level ranged from an 11 point decrease in Wisconsin to an 11 point increase in North Carolina.

Soybeans: Blooming was nearly complete at 94 percent, 3 points behind last year and the 5-year average. Blooming was complete in Michigan, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Ohio. Acreage was blooming at or behind the normal pace in all States except Kentucky, Michigan, and Ohio. Three-fourths of the acreage was setting pods, 14 points behind last year and 12 points behind normal. Pod-setting occurred most rapidly in Kentucky and Minnesota, where 23 and 27 percent of the acreage set pods during the week, respectively. Nationally, condition of the crop declined 1 point from last week to 62 percent good to excellent.

Winter Wheat: Ninety-five percent of the winter wheat crop was harvested, 4 points behind last year and 3 points behind the 5-year average. Harvest was complete or nearly complete in all States except Idaho, Montana, and Washington, where 30 percent or more of the crop remained unharvested.

Cotton: Several inches of rain fell in the central Delta and central Oklahoma. While California remained dry, light showers fell over central and East Texas and the Texas panhandle. In the Southeast, several inches of rain accompanied cooler-thannormal weather. Boll setting reached 84 percent, the same as last year but 5 points behind the 5-year average. In Louisiana and Oklahoma, major development occurred during the week, with at least 30 percent of the acreage advancing to the boll setting stage. Development in all States was within 9 points of the normal progress. Bolls were opening on 12 percent of the nation’s acreage, the same as last year but 1 point behind the 5-year average. Cotton condition improved 3 points from last week, reaching 48 percent good to excellent.

Sorghum: Cool weather prevailed in the nation’s midsection, while conditions were warm and dry in the West. Three-fourths of the sorghum acreage was headed, 11 points behind last year and 5 points behind the 5-year average. Thirty percent of Nebraska’s crop reached the heading stage during the week. Welcomed rains were received in Colorado and New Mexico, where heading was ahead of the average pace by 15 and 21 points, respectively. Nationally, 40 percent of the acreage was coloring, 6 points behind last year and 1 point behind the 5-year average. Twenty-six percent of the acreage was mature, the same as last year but 2 points ahead of the 5-year average. Louisiana and Texas acreage was most advanced with 87 and 59 percent mature, respectively. Condition ratings improved 4 points from the previous week, reaching 54 percent good to excellent.

Rice: Seventy-four percent of the acreage was headed, 14 points behind last year and 13 points behind the 5-year average. Nationwide, producers had harvested 8 percent of the rice crop. More than half of the Texas rice crop had been harvested. Harvest activity was limited to Louisiana and Texas. Condition of the rice crop was rated 72 percent good to excellent, unchanged from the previous week.

Small Grains: Barley producers had harvested 42 percent of the crop by week’s end, 33 points behind last year, 17 points behind the 5-year average. Producers had reaped 50 percent or more of the acreage in North Dakota and Washington. All barley-producing States were between 11 and 35 points
behind the average pace. Fifty-two percent of the barley crop was rated good to excellent, unchanged from last week’s rating. Oat harvest reached 74 percent complete, 14 points behind last year and 8 points behind the 5-year average. Progress was significantly behind the normal pace in Minnesota, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Spring wheat acreage was 35 percent harvested, 32 points behind last year and 19 points behind the 5-year average. Harvest progress was most advanced in South Dakota, where nearly two-thirds of the crop was harvested. Condition of the crop was rated 56 percent good to excellent, 3 points better than the previous week.

Other Crops: Peanut pegging was 98 percent complete, 4 points ahead of last year and 1 point ahead of the 5-year average. Pegging was within 5 points of normal in all States. Condition ratings improved 5 points from last week to 62 percent good to excellent.

Source:  USDA

With many of the crops in the north behind schedule, an early winter could be disastrous for farmers.  In NE Florida, the weather patterns are more indicative of September or October than August.

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