Weather for the last week of June and first week of July has been more suitable for baking cookies than producing crops. And it’s starting to show in several corn-producing states across the Midwest and in Tennessee.
In dry, hot Indiana, half of the crop is listed in very poor to poor condition and only 19 percent good to excellent, according to USDA's crop progress report for the week ending July 2. An article in the New York Times noted that some producers in Illinois and Missouri have already mown down crops withering in the dust.
In Tennessee, where rainfall is below normal for the year, temperatures soared to over 100 degrees with 86 percent of the state’s corn crop at the silking stage. On July 2, 47 percent of the state’s corn crop was listed in very poor to poor condition, as high temperatures and drought persisted.
Tennessee’s soybean crop is faring a little better, but not much, as 33 percent was listed in very poor to poor condition, with only 34 percent in the good to excellent category. By contrast, 71 percent of Mississippi’s soybean crop was listed in good to excellent condition by the week ending July 2.
Across the United States, 16 percent of the U.S. cotton crop was listed in very poor to poor condition, 35 percent in fair condition and 47 percent was rated as good to excellent. Missouri reported 39 percent of its crop as very poor to poor and only 18 percent as good to excellent. Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi reported 60 percent of cotton in good to excellent condition.
Only five percent of the nation’s rice crop was listed in very poor to poor condition, although 11 percent of the Arkansas rice crop was listed in those categories. Fifty-nine percent of the Arkansas rice crop is listed as good to excellent. In Mississippi, 87 percent of the rice crop is listed as good to excellent, compared to 72 percent for Louisiana and Missouri.