Growing conditions were quite good for the key row crop producing regions of the U.S during the summer.
The only areas of concern were persistent drought conditions in much of Missouri that extended into southern Iowa, eastern Kansas and much of the lower peninsula of Michigan.
Temperatures were generally above normal, but not excessively so at night.
Corn crop conditions as of September 1 are quite a bit higher than the same period a year ago, though recall final yields last season exceeded expectations that perhaps had been dampened by the relatively low crop ratings.
In that regard, this graphic shows the percent change in U.S. corn crop ratings as of 9/1/18 vs. 9/1/17 vs. the percent change in the USDA corn yield estimate for September 2018 compared to the 2017 final figures for the top 18 corn producing states and the U.S.
For corn, the direction of the percent change in crop conditions mostly match the percent change in yields with the exception of Colorado where crop conditions are 1.2% above year ago levels, although in September, the USDA forecast Colorado's corn yield 9.1% below the final 2017 figure.
Michigan's forecasted record yield of 165 bpa stands in contrast to crop conditions 5.2% below their 2017 level.
Tennessee's yield was pegged 1.8% above year ago levels even though this year's crop ratings are 8.5% below year ago levels.
The "I" states of Indiana, Illinois and Iowa also look like their current crop ratings suggest perhaps yields higher than what USDA estimated last month while Kansas and Kentucky crop ratings would perhaps augur for lower yields than what the USDA furnished this week.
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