The progress of the 2019 corn and soybean crops continue to trail behind where they “should” be based on the current 5-year average for mid-July. It’s even worse when compared to where the crops were a year ago.

Corn Progress & Condition

According to the USDA’s Crop Progress report for July 14, 2019, only 17% of this year’s corn crop is silking. This compares to 59% for the same date in 2018 and the 5-year average of 42%.

Progress in the two top-producing states tells much of this year’s story. Currently, only 8% of Iowa’s corn crop is reported to be silking. This compares to 63% a year ago and the 5-year average of 40%. In Illinois, 19% of corn acres are estimated to be silking. On this date in 2018, 91% of the crop was silking and the 5-year average for mid-July is 67%.

Overall, not much has changed in terms of the condition of this year’s corn crop between the current and previous week’s estimates. In its latest report, USDA says that 58% of the corn acres are in “good” (48%) and “excellent” (10%) as of July 14. The difference from the previous week (July 7) is only 1% when 47% of the crop was reported to be in “good” (47%) and “excellent” (10%) condition. But it’s down significantly when compared to the average on July 14, 2018, when 71% was in “good” (51% in “good” condition and 21% in “excellent” condition).

Soybean Progress & Condition

With 95% of soybeans emerged, the progress of this year’s crop is beginning to catch up. A year ago, on this date, 100% of soybean acres were emerged and the 5-year average is 99% for mid-July.

Comparatively, when it comes to soybeans blooming, only 22% of the crop is said to be at this stage as of July 14. A year earlier, 62% of soybeans were estimated to be at this stage of maturity and the 5-year average is 49%.

Again, looking at the two biggest states for soybean production, 12% of the Illinois crop was blooming as of last Sunday. For the same date in 2018, 62% of soybeans were blooming and the 5-year average is 49%. It’s a slightly better situation in Iowa where 26% of soybeans are at the blooming stage of maturity. A year ago, 62% of Iowa’s soybeans were blooming and the 5 year average is 52% for this date.

There was little difference seen in the condition of this year’s soybean crop for mid-July 2019 vs. the same period a year ago. USDA reports 54% of soybean acres are in “good” (46% vs. 46% a week earlier) and “excellent” (8% vs. 7% a week earlier). But, like this year’s corn crop, the current condition of soybeans is down significantly compared to the average a year ago, when 69% was considered in “good” (53%) and “excellent” (16%) condition.