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July 31, 2019

Condition of the 2019 U.S. Corn Crop shows Slight Improvement

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

After a very wet May and June, the weather turned dryer in July across much of the Midwest. I realize that not many crops are grown in Chicago, but the weather in the city has taken an interesting turn during the month of July. From July 1st to July 25th, Chicago has averaged 80% of its possible sunshine compared to the average of 68%. The July temperatures have averaged 3-4 degrees above normal and as of this past Sunday, the city had gone 7 days with any rain, which is the longest streak of dry weather since last December.

Rains over the weekend favored more northern locations with only lighter and scattered showers across much of the central Midwest. Northern and central Illinois in general has averaged about half or less of its normal rainfall for the last two weeks. As of Sunday, the state's topsoil was rated 40% short to very short. The dryer pattern has been pervasive across the eastern Corn Belt with Indiana rated 39% short to very short and Ohio rated 24% short to very short. Developing dryness is also a concern in Iowa where 25% of the topsoil is rated short to very short, Kansas is rated 40% short, and Michigan is 51% short.

I would say the area of biggest concern is eastern and southern Iowa, northern Missouri, northern and central Illinois and going eastward across central Indiana into western Ohio and southern Michigan. The biggest risk of course is for the latest planted corn that will be pollinating in August and the latest planted soybeans that will start to set pods during August.

The condition of the U.S. corn crop improved 1% last week and it is now rated 58% good to excellent. Most of the declines were found in the central Corn Belt where a dryer trend has developed over the past several weeks. The forecast is calling for generally seasonal temperatures this week with limited rainfall. If this forecast verifies, the corn condition will probably decline next Monday. The corn condition generally declines this time of the year due to drying conditions.

The 2019 U.S. corn crop is 58% silking compared to 90% last year and 83% for the 5-year average. With 58% of the corn silking, that means that approximately 40% of the corn will pollinate during the month of August. There is not any extreme heat in the forecast for the first half of August, but there is also not much rainfall in the forecast either, which concerns me for the 40% of the corn that will pollinate over the next 3 weeks. The corn is 13% in dough compared to 35% last year and 23% for the 5-year average.