Drought effects persist despite cooler temps, rain

by Meat&Poultry Staff
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WASHINGTON – Cooler temperatures and some showers have done little to reverse the impact of drought conditions on US crops, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

For the week ending Aug. 19, USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service reported that 51 percent of the US corn crop and 37 percent of the soybean crop were rated in very poor to poor condition. NASS said corn rated very poor to poor was just shy of the August 1988 record of 53 percent. Future improvements in the overall condition of corn will be unlikely because of a record-setting pace of corn denting and maturity (60 percent and 17 percent, respectively, by Aug. 19), according to NASS.

Recent improvements in soybean conditions were found in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and South Dakota. But roughly one-third to one-half of the crops remain in very poor to poor condition in those states, according to NASS.

Rangeland and pastures rated very poor to poor remained at a record-high of 59 percent for the week ending Aug. 19. But pasture conditions are improving in some areas as pastures rated very poor to poor declined by at least 5 percent in several states, according to USDA.

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