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Corn in the region is considered mostly in good to excellent condition but is behind pace on silking. Photo taken July 16, 2019, at the Carrington Research Extension Center. (Jenny Schlecht/Agweek)

Crops look good, but maturity continues to lag

Crop conditions in the region remain mostly good, but maturity continues to lag, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture's weekly crop progress report released July 15.

For instance, in the 18 states that grow corn, only 17% of corn is silking, compared to an average of 42% Silking barely has started in Minnesota and North Dakota and hasn't started in South Dakota. Likewise, soybeans across the 18 states that grow that crop usually are nearly half done blooming. This year, only 22% of soybeans in the country have bloomed.

Still, the majority of crops in the Upper Midwest are rated good to excellent condition, even as their progress remains behind the average.

The report says pasture and range conditions in the region are mostly good to excellent, with 77% in Minnesota, 76% in Montana, 72% in North Dakota and 82% in South Dakota meeting those descriptions.

Here's a closer look at three of the region's major crops, spring wheat, soybeans and corn:

Spring wheat

Spring wheat in the region is catching up on heading and remains mostly in good to excellent condition. Spring wheat crops made up a lot of ground on heading in the past week. In Minnesota, wheat went from 75% headed to 96%, compared to the five-year average of 91%. Wheat in Montana went from 36% to 60%, compared to an average of 81%. In North Dakota, it went from 55% to 79%, compared to 86% on average. South Dakota's wheat went from 61% headed to 75%, compared to an average of 95%.

Spring wheat conditions remain mostly good to excellent, with Minnesota at 85% good to excellent, Montana at 67%, North Dakota at 80% and South Dakota at 74%.

Corn

Corn in Minnesota was 2% silked, compared to 23% on the five-year average. North Dakota was 1% silked, compared to 15% on average. Corn still has not started silking in South Dakota, compared to 21% on average.

Even as maturity remains behind the normal pace, the condition in the Upper Midwest remains mostly good to excellent. In Minnesota, 58% of corn is considered good to excellent, along with 77% in North Dakota and 62% in South Dakota.

Soybeans

Soybean emergence is complete in Minnesota and North Dakota, but South Dakota is still only 99% emerged. Blooming remains behind pace in all three states, with Minnesota at 16% compared to 50% on the five-year average, North Dakota at 18% compared to 49% on average, and South Dakota at 32% compared to 50% on average.

Soybean conditions remain good to excellent in all three states, with 60% meeting that description in Minnesota, 69% in North Dakota and 52% in South Dakota.