Now it’s time for milk and dough

From Internet Sources

Minnesota’s 2010 corn crop continues to one for the record books—89 percent of the crop is rated good or excellent by USDA observers, as we begin the last week of July.

“Statewide average precipitation was over one half-inch above normal,” the National Agricultural Statistics Service crop weather report for July 26 states. “Heavy rains on Thursday (7/22) fell across the south, exceeding 3 inches in some areas.  Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 16 percent surplus, up from 15 percent last week.   Statewide 5 days were rated suitable for fieldwork.  Some producers in the central region reported isolated hail damage from recent storms.”

As of Sunday, NASS reported that 11 percent of the crop had reached the stage where the grains are filling in, known as the milk stage—in the past five years Minnesota has averaged ten percent in milk stage by this date. In a typical year, the leading one percent of the crop has reached the further grain filling stage, known as dough, but so far NASS observers have not seen it this year.

Looking at germination, however, shows the crop still out ahead of average progress—85 percent of corn plants are silking now, compared to 67 on average over the past five years at this date.

Red River News Network casts an eye over the whole corn belt and pronounces that from a market standpoint traders are already treating the crop as if its in the bin: “From the trader’s standpoint, the corn crop is made. Ag Management Services says pollination is nearing the 75 percent complete level, and the weather outlook into the early days of August appears to contain few if any threats. In addition, corn development is several days ahead of average in many parts of Iowa, reducing the potential for damage to the crop from an early frost. Now that forecasts extend into August, traders also see little problem for the soybean crop. With soybean crop conditions improving last week, traders foresee a strong possibility of matching last year’s record 44 bushel per acre national average yield.”

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