by Jonathan Eisenthal

The corn crop in Minnesota averaged 73 inches, or 6-foot-1, as of Sunday, July 18, according to USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. Almost two-thirds of the crop has reached silking stage, up from 14 percent last week—this continues the trend seen all year of above average progress.

Almost unheard of for this point in July, when heat stress usually hits the crop, 90 percent of Minnesota’s corn has been rated good or excellent (55 percent good, 35 percent excellent) by USDA-NASS observers.

“Crops continued developing ahead of average despite a stormy week ending
on July 18,” states the latest crop weather report from USDA, NASS, Minnesota Field Office. “On Wednesday, powerful thunderstorms moved across southern and central
Minnesota with reports of localized hail, damaging winds, and isolated tornados.  The heaviest rains were reported mostly in northern and eastern sections of the state.  More storms struck Saturday evening ashot, humid air gave way to severe thunderstorms accompanied by strong winds, localized hail and reports of tornados across the northern metro region.”

Four out of five acres has adequate topsoil moisture statewide, but about 15 percent has surplus moisture, according to USDA.

We are now 88 days into this crop, on average (April 23), and Growing Degree Days, the official measure of heat units, is above average in most locations across the state, with the exception fo the West Central Region. But even in places like Browns Valley, Montevideo and Morris, the crops are only a few days behind the average accumulation.

The full USDA-NASS crop weather report can be accessed at http://www.nass.usda.gov/mn


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