Surge of corn silking brings total ahead of average

by Laura Lloyd
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WASHINGTON – The percentage of the corn crop in the silking stage surged ahead in the week ended July 20 to 56% compared with 55% as the average, up from 34% the previous week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its most recent Crop Progress report.

In several of the major 18 states, silking had reached more than 80% in the latest week, including Illinois (82%), Missouri (91%), North Carolina (94%), Tennessee (90%) and Texas (91%).

Silking sets the stage for pollination, required for the development of kernels on each ear of corn. Moderately warm temperatures, rather than searing heat, are a boon to pollination and were a feature of the weather in much of the Midwest last week.

The U.S.D.A. said crop conditions in the 18 major corn states in the week ended July 20 were identical to the previous week:  76% rated good to excellent, 19% fair and 5% very poor to poor.

Sixty per cent of the soybean crop in the 18 major states was blooming as of the week ended July 20 compared with a 56% five-year average, the U.S.D.A. said. Nineteen per cent of the crop was setting pods as of July 20 compared with 17% as the five-year average.

Conditions of the soybean crop rated good to excellent in the latest week improved to 73% compared with 72% the previous week.

Harvest of the combined hard red winter wheat and soft red winter wheat crops in the 18 major states reached 75% complete as of July 20 compared with the 75% five-year average, up from 69% the previous week.

Harvest in several hard red winter wheat states was verging on completion or was finished as of July 20, with Kansas 95% complete compared with a 100% average, Oklahoma  98% complete (99%)  and Texas 100% complete (99%). Still lagging their five-year averages were Colorado at 68% complete (71%) and Nebraska at 54% (61%), the U.S.D.A. said.

Harvest in several key soft red winter wheat states also was completed, or nearly so, with Illinois 95% complete compared with a 97% average, Indiana 92% complete (97%) and Missouri 100% complete (100%). Ohio was 89% complete (95%).

The U.S.D.A. said spring wheat heading in the six major states reached 84% compared with a five-year average of 85%. Seventy per cent of the crop was rated good to excellent in the latest week, unchanged from the previous week.

The oats harvest in the nine major states was 34% complete as of July 20 compared with a five-year average of 24%. Ninety-five per cent of the crop was headed compared with the 97% average for the date. The U.S.D.A. said 64% of the crop was rated good to excellent, unchanged from the previous two weeks.
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