The Corn Belt’s hopes for rain were dashed last week, and short-term forecasts aren’t offering much relief to the stubborn drought that has gripped the area. As a result, crop condition ratings again dipped by 3 percentage points this week according to the latest Crop Progress report from the USDA.

Corn crop struggling
This week’s report shows the declining crop condition ratings across the country:

Very Poor





This week






Last week






Previous year






State-specific, Indiana reported 24 percent of corn rated in “poor” to “very poor” condition, making Indiana’s corn among the lowest rated of the states. Other struggling states include Kansas (14 percent), Kentucky (16 percent), Michigan (12 percent), Missouri (21 percent), Ohio (11 percent) and Tennessee (12 percent).

Three states – Minnesota, North Dakota and Pennsylvania – had the best conditions of the nations, reporting at least 80 percent of corn in “good” to “excellent” condition.  See how your state is doing here.

Reuters reported that forecasts are calling for limited chances of rain in the Grain Belt over the next 10 days, and temperatures are expected to stay around 90 degrees Fahrenheit. No rain could mean even lower ratings next week.

If crops can make it through the end of the summer, there is hope for the return of El Nino, which would bring hope for moisture. Last week the Climate Prediction Center (CPC) said there is a 50 percent likelihood of El Nino developing, though conditions are still expected to be neutral between June and August. A developing El Nino is more likely to push drought conditions to the west, away from the Corn Belt, allowing weak storm fronts into the Midwest grain growing region. Read more here.

Corn silking: 5 percent
The Crop Progress reported corn silking for the first time this year, with nine states reporting silking corn. Last year, silking wasn’t reported until early July.

Texas (60 percent), Tennessee (47 percent) and North Carolina (30 percent) reported the highest percentages of corn silking.  

Soybeans: 5 percent blooming, conditions decline too
Soybeans are moving quickly this year, already 95 percent emerged and 5 percent blooming. Conditions, like corn, are also declining. Last week 10 percent of soybeans were rated in “poor” to “very poor” condition. This week, 12 percent is rated in these conditions. Read more here.