This week’s Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service shows significant rainfall in several key areas last week. Corn and soybean crops, continue to develop on pace with last year, although progress remains well below the previous five-year average.

Widespread showers and below-normal temperatures over the past week provided nearly ideal conditions for Midwestern corn and soybean development, according to the report.

Weekly rainfall totaled at least 2 inches in several locations, including much of the OhioValley and an area centered on the Iowa-Illinois-Wisconsin borders. Heavy rain also

soaked portions of the central and southern Plains and the Mid-South. Much of the Southeast remains dry, but pastures and crops in the region look better than they did in late June, the report notes.

One exception is southern Texas, where record-setting heat and historically dry conditions continue to stress pastures and crops.

Hot, dry weather also dominated in the West and into the northern Plains, but much of the region had good rains earlier in the season and crops generally are in good condition.

Nationally, 55 percent of the corn crop reached silking stage and 7 percent reached dough stage last week. Both of those numbers match the percentages from one year earlier. We continue to see the results of planting delays though, as we compare the current figures with a five-year average for the same date of 76 percent silking and 17 percent dough.

Soybeans, at 63 percent flowering and 20 percent setting pods, are slightly ahead of last year in the top 18 soybean states, but also behind the five-year average.

Overall, crop conditions continue to show promise of some big harvests this fall. Across the top 18 corn-producing states, 71 percent of the crop rates good or excellent as of July 26. That compares with 66 percent in the top two categories one year earlier. Just 8 percent of the crop rates poor or very poor across the top 18 states. In contrast, Texas reports 40 percent of its corn crop in those categories.

For soybeans, 67 percent of the crop in the top 18 states rates good or excellent, compared with 62 percent one year ago. Eight percent rates poor or very poor. One state where soybean conditions fall well below the average is Louisiana, where 28 percent of the crop rates poor or very poor.

Pasture and range conditions are mixed, with some areas reporting good conditions and big improvements over last year, and some suffering severe drought-induced losses. Nationally, 50 percent of pasture and range rates good or excellent, compared with 44 percent one year ago. Arizona, California, Louisiana, New Mexico and Texas stand out as areas with declining conditions. In California, 90 percent of pasture and range rates poor or very poor. Most of the Midwest reports good conditions, with the exception of Wisconsin, where 43 percent of pasture and range falls into the bottom two categories. Read thr full report from USDA.