Highlights: Above average temperatures combined with a week of little to no rainfall promoted fieldwork and summer crop development across much of country west of the Great Plains. On the southern Plains, producers began field preparations for winter wheat seeding as ideal conditions prevailed. Below average temperatures and wet weather remained throughout much of the Corn Belt, yet crop development remained active for most summer crops. Tropical Storm Danny brought precipitation to much of the Atlantic Coast, dumping between 2 and 4 inches of rainfall in several areas from Maryland northward.

Corn: Acreage at or beyond the dough stage reached 75 percent by week's end, 6 points behind last year and 13 points behind the 5-year average. Development to the dough stage was active across much of the growing region where cooler temperatures and readily available soil moisture continued to provide nearly ideal conditions. Nationally, acreage at or beyond the dent stage advanced to 32 percent complete, 10 points behind last year and 28 points behind the average. Progress to the dent stage was behind normal in all estimating States except Colorado and North Carolina. Lags of 33 points or more were evident in the Dakotas, Illinois, Indiana, and Minnesota. Acreage mature, at 5 percent, was 1 point behind last year and 8 points behind the 5-year average. The crop was most mature in North Carolina and Texas. Overall, 69 percent of the corn crop was rated in good to excellent condition, down slightly from last week but an 8 point improvement from last year.

Soybeans: Ninety-three percent of the 2009 soybean acreage was at or beyond the pod setting stage, on par with last year but 3 points behind the 5-year average. Pod development remained active across the major soybean-producing regions of the country despite below average temperatures. Leaf drop had occurred on 3 percent of the Nation's soybean acreage by August 30, one point behind last year and 5 points behind the average. Leaf drop was most advanced on acreage in the Delta; however, progress in Mississippi was 34 points behind normal. Overall, 69 percent of the soybean crop was rated in good to excellent condition, unchanged from a week ago but 8 points better than last year.

Cotton: Bolls were set on 93 percent of this year's cotton acreage, on par with last year but 3 points behind the 5-year average. Boll set was most active in the Great Plains States of Kansas and Oklahoma. Bolls were opened on 19 percent of the Nation's acreage, 2 points behind last year and 6 points behind normal. Delays of 22 points or more were evident in Alabama, Mississippi, and Missouri when compared with the 5-year average. Overall, 51 percent of the cotton crop was rated in good to excellent condition, down slightly from last week but 3 points better than last year.

Sorghum: Acreage at or beyond the heading stage advanced to 92 percent by August 30, five points ahead of last year and 1 point ahead of the 5-year average. Despite surplus rainfall, 24 percent of the crop in Illinois developed heads during the week, but overall progress remained 18 points, or more than 1 week, behind normal. Coloring advanced 9 points during the week, leaving progress, at 49 percent, 5 points behind last year and 8 points behind the average. Coloring progress was active across much of the growing region but was behind in all estimating States except Colorado, Louisiana, and Texas. Crop maturity crept forward to 31 percent complete, on par with last year and the average. In Kansas, the largest sorghum-producing State, the sorghum crop had yet to reach maturity, leaving overall progress over 2 weeks behind normal. Harvest was slow during the week, advancing just 1 point to 28 percent complete by week's end, 1 point ahead of last year and 2 points ahead of the 5-year average. Overall, 49 percent of the sorghum crop was rated in good to excellent condition, compared with 50 percent last week and 51 percent last year.

Rice: Nationally, 90 percent of the rice crop was at or beyond the heading stage, 3 points behind last year and 6 points behind the 5-year average. Heading was most active in Arkansas, California, and Missouri, as progress was complete or nearly complete in all other States. Producers had harvested 16 percent of their crop by week's end, 3 points ahead of last year but 3 points behind the average. Harvest began in Arkansas, the largest rice-producing State, during the week, with producers utilizing nearly a week of days suitable for fieldwork to harvest 4 percent of their crop. Overall, 66 percent of the rice crop was rated in good to excellent condition, a 1 point improvement from last week but down 6 points from last year.

Small Grains: Mostly dry weather in the Pacific Northwest and on the Plains allowed ample time for small grain harvest. Spring wheat producers harvested 16 percent of their crop during the week, leaving progress at 38 percent complete by August 30. However, significant delays remained in all estimating States, with the biggest lag evident in North Dakota, the largest spring wheat-producing State, where harvest was over 3 weeks behind normal. Overall, 75 percent of the crop was rated in good to excellent condition, up 3 points from last week.

Barley producers had harvested 46 percent of their crop by week's end, 32 points behind last year and 35 points behind the 5-year average. Harvest was active in all estimating States, but progress remained behind normal. Overall, 78 percent of the crop was rated in good to excellent condition, down slightly from last week.

Producers harvested 13 percent of their oat crop during the week, leaving progress, at 85 percent, 11 points behind last year and the 5-year average. Harvest was most active in North Dakota; however, progress remained 44 points behind normal. Other Crops: Overall, 72 percent of the peanut crop was rated in good to excellent condition, down 1 point from last week but 6 points better than last year. The most significant decline was evident in Florida where above average rainfall in the panhandle has led to disease pressure from white mold and leaf spot.