Louisiana’s cotton crop may have taken a back seat to a huge corn presence this season, but it’s a fine-looking crop nonetheless, according to USDA’s July 23 crop progress update, reflecting conditions as of July 22.

Eighty-four percent of the U.S. cotton crop is now squaring, according to USDA, with all Mid-South states at or near 100 percent. Alabama continues to lag behind in maturity, with 79 percent of the crop squaring compared to a five-year average of 91 percent. Forty-six percent of the U.S. crop is now setting bolls, with Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee all around 75 percent. Arkansas leads the race to the finish with 93 percent of its crop now setting bolls, ahead of its five-year average of 80 percent.

Fifty-six percent of the cotton crop is in good to excellent condition, compared to 38 percent last year. Louisiana, Mississippi and Arkansas report an extraordinary 89 percent, 73 percent and 72 percent in good to excellent condition. Crop conditions have not improved in Alabama, where 49 percent of the crop is in poor to very poor condition.

USDA reports that 78 percent of the nation’s corn crop was silking by the week ending July 22, compared to 74 percent last year at this time and a five-year average of 62 percent. Sixty-two percent of the crop is listed in good to excellent condition, compared to 59 percent last year.

Three-fourths of the nation’s soybean crop is blooming, according to USDA, ahead of the five-year average of 67 percent. Thirty-percent of the crop is now setting pods, compared to a five-year average of 24 percent. Sixty-one percent of the crop is listed in good to excellent shape, compared to 54 percent last year. In Mississippi, 76 percent of the crop is listed in good to excellent condition, compared to 66 percent for Louisiana, 56 percent for Arkansas and 40 percent for Tennessee.

USDA reports that 31 percent of the U.S. rice crop is heading, with Louisiana and Texas, both with 82 percent, leading the pace.

e-mail: erobinson@farmpress.com