National Agricultural Summary 8/18-8/24/2008

Corn: The weather across the Corn Belt was mostly dry with temperatures within 3 degrees F of normal, except in isolated southern portions of the region. National acreage at or beyond the dough stage reached 68 percent, 20 points behind last year and 14 points behind the 5-year average. Acreage in Pennsylvania and Texas was reaching the dough stage ahead of last year, while development in Colorado, Michigan, and Pennsylvania was ahead of the average pace. Elsewhere, progress was delayed. Development to the dough stage was nearly complete in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas. Nationally, 26 percent of the corn acreage had dented, 32 and 21 points behind last year and the 5-year average, respectively. In Colorado and Pennsylvania, denting was occurring ahead of normal, while elsewhere, progress was delayed. Condition of the national corn crop was rated 64 percent good to excellent, a 3 point decline from last week and the first weekly decline since mid-June.

Soybeans: Weather conditions were mostly dry with normal temperatures throughout the growing region, except for some rainfall in the South and isolated areas along the Mississippi River. Blooming was nearly complete at 97 percent nationally, 2 points behind last year and the 5-year average. Other than a 14-point blooming delay in Missouri, blooming progress was within 4 points of both last year and the 5-year average in all States. Pod setting had occurred on 88 percent of the nation’s soybean acreage, 7 points behind last year and 6 points behind normal. Pod setting was complete in North Dakota, 1 point ahead of the 5-year average. Meanwhile in Missouri, development was 29 points behind the average pace. Condition of the national soybean crop was rated 61 percent good to excellent, 1 point lower than last week’s rating.

Rice: Eighty-five percent of the rice acreage was headed nationally, 10 points behind last year and 8 points behind the 5-year average. Heading was nearly complete in Louisiana and Texas. Nationwide, 10 percent of the rice acreage had been harvested, lagging 5 points behind last year’s harvest pace and 4 points behind the average pace. A significant delay was evident in Louisiana, where harvest progress was 21 points behind last year and the 5-year average. Condition of the crop was rated 72 percent good to excellent, unchanged from the previous week.

Sorghum: Nationally, 84 percent of the acreage had headed, 8 points behind last year and 2 points behind the 5-year average. Forty-six percent of the acreage was coloring, 10 points behind last year and 3 points behind the 5-year average. In Colorado, the crop was coloring well ahead of last year and normal. All of the acreage in Louisiana had colored, and the majority of the crop had colored in Arkansas, Colorado, and Texas. Twenty-eight percent of the national sorghum acreage had reached maturity, 1 point behind last year but the same as the 5-year average. Maturation in Arkansas was 30 points behind the 5-year average. Nationally, producers had harvested 23 percent of the sorghum acreage, 2 points ahead of last year and 1 point ahead of normal. While harvest was just getting underway in Arkansas and Oklahoma, more than half of the crop had been reaped in Louisiana and Texas. Sorghum condition was rated 53 percent good to excellent, 1 point lower than last week.

Cotton: Eighty-nine percent of the nation’s acreage was setting bolls, 1 point behind last year and 5 points behind the 5-year average. Development was within 9 points of the 5-year average in all States. Boll setting was complete in the Delta, Missouri, Tennessee, and Virginia. Bolls were open on 16 percent of the nation’s cotton acreage, 5 points behind last year and 3 points behind the 5-year average. Bolls were opening at or behind the normal pace in all States except Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, and Texas. Condition of the crop was rated 48 percent good to excellent nationally, unchanged from the previous week.

Small Grains: Barley producers had harvested 66 percent of the crop, 21 points behind last year and 9 points behind the 5-year average. Harvest was delayed in all States when compared with last year and the average. The condition rating of the crop, at 52 percent good to excellent, remained unchanged from last week. Oat harvest, at 88 percent complete, was 7 points behind last year and 3 points behind the 5-year average. Harvest was complete in Ohio and Texas, but was at or behind the normal pace elsewhere, except in Ohio and Pennsylvania. Sixty-one percent of the spring wheat had been harvested, 22 points behind last year and 11 points behind the 5-year average. In Idaho, Minnesota, and Washington, harvest progress was 27 or more points behind the normal pace. Condition of the crop was rated 55 percent good to excellent, 1 point lower than last week’s rating.

Source: USDA

They are running out of summer quickly in the northern states, and some regions have already gotten their first frost.

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