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The latest USDA data is familiar for farmers, but a future concern is new

By John Roach, AccuWeather staff writer
July 30, 2019, 8:31:29 AM EDT

Corn farm crop

Early planting difficulties could come into play later this year related to the first frost. (John Roach/AccuWeather)

Monday’s U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Crop Progress continued the run of poor numbers showing the condition of corn and soybeans in the U.S., something the country’s farmers know all too well.

For the seventh straight week, the condition of corn and soybeans considered “good” or “excellent” has been 60% or lower. Monday’s USDA report had the good-or-excellent condition of corn at 58% and the condition of soybeans at 54% in 18 key corn- and soybean-producing states.

Last year at this time, corn was at 72% and soybeans were 70%.

Indiana, Ohio, Missouri and Michigan have the lowest percentages in both corn and soybean conditions.

The 2019 season has produced a few unfortunate firsts for U.S. farmers, many of whom started planting much later than usual – or had to replant later – because of extended rain and record flooding earlier this year.

Those early difficulties could come into play later this year related to the first frost.

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AccuWeather meteorologists believe there is a greater-than-average chance of a frost occurring when it normally does. “Most years, that’s not a story, but this year, it could be,” said AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Jason Nicholls.

Here’s why: “This year, with a significant percentage of corn and soybeans not likely to be safe from a frost since they’re still growing, if you get a frost when the crop is not mature, then you will damage some of the commodity and you could get some losses,” Nicholls said.

“So, we are concerned,” he added. “And an on-time frost would be sometime in early to mid-October and that would cause some damage if it were to happen.”

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