With a late-summer dry spell, you could complain about the 2013 crops. But it’s a matter of perspective. “Compared to last year, conditions are not that bad,” says Mark Schleusener, state statistician for the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service. “We have 52 percent of soybean acres in good or excellent condition, and 57 percent of corn acres in good or excellent condition. I think, for the corn, if it were to begin to rain now, I don’t think that’s going to help the corn. I think it’s past that, but there are soybean acres, certainly, that would benefit from additional rain at this time.”
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Soybeans are just beginning to turn yellow: 4 percent now, compared to 38 percent last year at this time and 20 percent for the five-year average. For corn, 46 percent is in the dent stage, compared to 94 percent last year and 69 percent for the five-year average.