Highlights: Abnormally dry conditions persisted in areas west of the Rocky Mountains, many receiving less than 2 percent of their normal precipitation. In contrast, many locations from the Great Plains eastward received total accumulations greater than 200 percent of normal, with locations in Alabama and Mississippi receiving over 5 inches during the week. Below average temperatures were recorded in the southern Rocky Mountains and southern Great Plains, while temperatures elsewhere were warmer than normal aiding late-summer crop development.

Corn: Ninety percent of the Nation's corn crop was at the dent stage or beyond, 5 points behind last year and 7 points, or slightly more than 1 week behind the 5-year average. Denting was most active in the Great Lakes States and the Dakotas where above average temperatures aided crop development.

Crop maturity advanced 16 points during the week to 37 percent complete, 12 points behind last year and 35 points, or 2 weeks, behind the average. Despite active maturity rates during the week, delays of 42 points or more remained in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, and North Dakota.

Nationally, producers had harvested 6 percent of the 2009 corn crop by September 27, compared with 8 percent last year and 18 percent for the 5-year average. Harvest was most advanced in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

Overall, 68 percent of the corn crop was rated in good to excellent condition, unchanged from last week but 7 points better than last year.

Soybeans: Leaves had dropped on 63 percent of the soybean acreage, 2 points behind last year and 14 points behind the 5-year average. Although leaf drop was active across much of the growing region, overall progress remained behind normal in all estimating States. Harvest was underway in most States as the week ended, with the most progress seen in the Delta. By September 27, producers had harvested 5 percent of the Nation's acreage, 3 points behind last year and 13 points behind the average. Overall, 66 percent of the soybean acreage was rated in good to excellent condition, down 1 point from last week but 9 points better than last year. Excessively wet weather across the Delta led to a decline in soybean conditions as producers in Arkansas and Mississippi reported sprouting and seed rot in several fields.

Winter Wheat: Producers seeded 12 percent of their winter wheat acreage during the week, leaving progress, at 36 percent, 1 point behind last year and 3 points behind the 5-year average. Seeding was most active in Colorado, Idaho, and Montana where mostly dry weather afforded producers over 5.5 days suitable for fieldwork during the week. Thirteen percent of the winter wheat crop was emerged, 1 point ahead of last year but 1 point behind the average. Emergence was most advanced in Nebraska and Washington where 45 percent of the crop had emerged, well ahead of normal.

Cotton: Acreage with opened bolls advanced to 57 percent, 1 point behind last year and 11 points, or 1 week, behind the 5-year average. Bolls opened across much of the growing region; however, overall progress remained behind normal in all estimating States except South Carolina. The harvest pace was slow, advancing just 1 point during the week, as fields in the Northern High Plains of Texas needed heat units and dry weather to further development. At 8 percent, harvest was 3 points behind last year and 7 points behind the average. Overall, 49 percent of the cotton crop was rated in good to excellent condition, down slightly from last week and 2 points below last year. Significant declines in crop condition were evident in Alabama, Arkansas, Kansas, and Mississippi. Abnormally wet weather in Alabama, Arkansas, and Mississippi caused boll rot, hard lock, and sprouting in some fields, while below average temperatures in Kansas left cotton plants without enough heat units to allow for normal boll development.

Sorghum: Coloring advanced to 87 percent complete by week's end, 4 points ahead of last year but 2 points behind the 5-year average. Five percent of the sorghum crop matured during the week leaving progress, at 45 percent, 4 points behind last year and 14 points behind the average. The most significant delays were evident in Illinois and Nebraska where overall progress was over 3 weeks and over 1 week behind normal, respectively.

Producers harvested just 2 percent of the Nation's sorghum crop during the week. With 33 percent of the crop harvested, progress was 2 points behind last year and 6 points behind the 5-year average. Overall, 49 percent of the sorghum crop was rated in good to excellent condition, unchanged from last week but 4 points below last year.

Rice: Harvest advanced to 45 percent complete, 7 points behind last year and 21 points behind the 5-year average. Harvest slowed in the Delta as producers battled rain-soaked fields.

Overall, 59 percent of the rice crop was rated in good to excellent condition, down 2 points from last week and last year. Tremendous amounts of rainfall in the Delta caused lodging in some rice fields in Arkansas and lodging and downed stands in Mississippi.

Small Grains: Spring wheat producers harvested 9 percent of their acreage during the week, leaving progress, at 94 percent, 5 points behind last year and 4 points behind the 5-year average. The pace was most active in Minnesota and North Dakota as producers hurried to finish harvest.

Ninety-five percent of the barley crop was harvested by September 27, two points behind last year and 3 points behind the 5-year average. The largest delay remained in Montana where overall progress was 7 points, or over 2 weeks, behind normal.

Other Crops: Peanut harvest advanced to 10 percent complete, 3 points behind last year and 2 points behind the 5-year average. Harvest was underway in all estimating States except Oklahoma and Virginia, where progress was 4 and 8 points behind normal, respectively. Harvest was most active in Texas as producers in the Southern High Plains began to dig nuts. Overall, 70 percent of the peanut crop was rated in good to excellent condition, a slight improvement from last week and 4 points better than last year.

Sugarbeet producers harvested 6 percent of the crop during the week. With 10 percent of the 2009 crop harvested, progress was 3 points ahead of last year and 1 point ahead of the 5-year average. In North Dakota, the largest sugarbeet-producing State, harvest fell slightly behind the normal pace.