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Corn Condition Off to Best Start Since 2021

Progressive Farmer’s Anthony Greder reported Monday that “the condition of the U.S. corn crop is starting off significantly better this year than it did last year, USDA NASS reported in its weekly Crop Progress on Monday.”

In its first condition rating of the season for corn, NASS estimated that 75% of the crop was in good-to-excellent condition, 11 percentage points higher than 64% a year ago,” Greder reported. “Only 4% of the crop was rated very poor to poor compared to 6% last year.”

Reuters’ Karen Braun reported earlier on Monday that “a straight five-year average of initial U.S. corn conditions is 69% good-to-excellent. The 10-year average is 71% and the 10-year Olympic average, discarding the high of 79% in 2018 and the 59% low from 2019, yields 72% GE.”

Braun wrote on the social media platform X that “U.S. corn starting at 75% good-to-excellent is the 6th best start of the last 20 years and the best since 2021.” She and agriculture economist Scott Irwin of farmdoc did warn, however, that with more than 25% of the corn crop not yet emerged, “anything can happen from this point—great crop, good crop, bad crop.”

Closer Look Suggests Some Below Average Corn Conditions

Braun reported earlier on Monday — before the crop condition ratings were released — that farmers in her U.S. Crop Watch series (which follows 11 corn and 11 soybean fields across nine U.S. states) rated “their corn health below that of recent years.”

“The initial, unweighted average corn condition across 11 fields is 3.68 (out of 5), lower than the 11-field average of 4.02 last year and 4.07 this same week in 2021,” Braun reported. “Only nine corn fields were scored at this point in 2022 due to later planting, with an average of 4.58, and two weeks later, the initial, 11-field average was 4.25.”

“The east is looking strong, with Indiana and Ohio producers the only ones to assign a perfect 5 to their corn fields,” Braun reported. “The lowest rating is 2 in Nebraska, where recent rainfall has been many multiples of normal and emergence is a major issue for a lot of fields. The other eight producers rated their corn between 3 and 4, with many citing the need for sunshine and more steady periods of rain to help offset some of the uneven emergence associated with excessive rainfall.”

Corn Planting Nearing Completion Nationwide

AgWeb’s Cheyenne Kramer reported Monday evening that “many farmers will be making their way through their final fields this week as planting begins to wrap up.”

“According to USDA’s latest crop progress report, 91% of corn acres and 78% of soybean acres have been planted,” Kramer reported. “That’s an increase of 8% and 10%, respectively, from last week. While both crops remain significantly behind last year’s progress, they are still on track with the 5-year average.”

“Of the 18 states USDA tracks, 10 have reached at least 90% of corn acres planted — with North Carolina reporting 100% — and half of them report 80% of soybeans in the ground,” Kramer reported.

Ryan Hanrahan is the Farm Policy News editor and social media director for the farmdoc project. He has previously worked in local news, primarily as an agriculture journalist in the American West. He is a graduate of the University of Missouri (B.S. Science & Agricultural Journalism). He can be reached at

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