Ag Weather Forum

Slow Row-Crop Progress Continues

Mike Palmerino
By  Mike Palmerino , DTN Senior Ag Meteorologist
An un-tasseled cornfield in eastern Nebraska typifies the prolonged lag in 2019 crop development for early July. (DTN photo by Bryce Anderson)

Corn silking is just getting underway in the Midwest. Normally, 15-20% of the crop would be silking by now, with 40% in Illinois. This is reflected in the crop ratings. Of the major producing states, Nebraska is faring the best at 76% good to excellent. Minnesota and Iowa are only around 60% good to excellent. Conditions deteriorate further in the eastern Midwest, with only 34-38% of the crop rated in good-to-excellent condition. Things are not much better for soybeans, with crop progress running 10-14 days behind normal in the western Midwest and at least two to three weeks behind in the east. Good-to-excellent crop ratings in the major growing states are again led by Nebraska at 73%, followed by Iowa at 64% and Minnesota at 61%. Like with corn, crop ratings are quite poor in the eastern Midwest due to excessive rainfall ranging from 37-39% good to excellent.

The forecast looks good for early corn pollination in the Midwest, with no persistent heat or dryness expected during the next seven to 10 days. It continues to appear that summer weather will be overall favorable for corn and soybeans in the Midwest. The critical time period is going to be this fall. If there is an early freeze in the Midwest, it could do severe damage due to significant amounts of immature crops. With less blocking showing up in the higher latitudes at this time, more growing degree days will be accumulated at least in the short term, helping these late crops. It still appears to me that the seasons have been displaced by about two to four weeks. If this trend toward a later start to summer carries into a later start to fall, this would bode well for late-planted crops as first freeze dates in the Midwest would be displaced into later October and early November.

The winter wheat harvest is nearly complete in Oklahoma and Texas. It is still only about 60% complete in Kansas, which is well behind normal, and is just getting started in Colorado and Nebraska. Mostly below-normal rainfall forecast during the next seven to 10 days should allow for rapid progress of the remaining harvest in Kansas.

Spring wheat development in the Northern Plains is running well behind normal in most areas. However, with the lack of any persistent heat or dryness, the crop is doing well.

Michael Palmerino can be reached at



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Bryce Anderson
7/10/2019 | 9:36 AM CDT
The accompanying photo was taken Tuesday evening, July 9, 2019. According to University of Nebraska-Lincoln extension adviser Tyler Williams, the pictured corn field is still about two weeks away from tasseling. That puts crop development in this field a total of at least three weeks later than average in its development.