NASS Reports Corn Crop is Progressing Well

Conditions are stressing corn in some areas as corn enters critical pollination stage.

The 2006 corn crop is progressing at a pace similar to last year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agriculture Statistics Service, but conditions are stressing the corn in some areas.

"Now is a critical time for much of the corn crop, as pollination is beginning to take place in the northern and western Corn Belt," says Paul Bertels, National Corn Growers Association director of biotechnology. "Last week, many areas received a good rainfall ahead of the heat, but the rains were not widespread."

"We're quite dry in my area," adds NCGA President Gerald Tumbleson of Sherburn, Minn. "The heat is hurting us. We will have a yield cut. Some cooler weather and a good rain right now will help fill out the ears and give us a good chance at a good crop."

The corn crop condition is nearly the same as last year at this time. Sixteen percent of the crop is rated excellent nationwide, 47% is deemed good and 26% is classified as fair. Eight percent of the crop is considered poor, and 4% is rated as very poor.

More than half of the corn crop has silked, more than double the 23% that was in the silked stage last week. Some kernel formation has begun, generally in the southern states. Six percent of the crop is in the doughing stage. This was the first week doughing statistics were available.

Bertels notes last year's crop maturation experienced similar conditions as this year's crop, although drought conditions were more widespread. Despite the drought in Illinois and the eastern Corn Belt, corn producers still managed to harvest more than 11 billion bushels of corn.

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