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July 19, 2010

Rains help some crops; corn suffers

This week's USDA Crop Progress report for Maryland is out today, and it shows recent rains in some parts of the state have helped to increase soil moisture and revive some crops. But the corn crop continues to deteriorate.

Among the comments from crop observers: "Slightly improved conditions with rain."  And "Much needed rain last week helped soybean conditions and replenished surface water ponds."

Only 17 percent of the corn crop is rated "good" or "excellent."  That's unchanged from last week. Baltimore County Farm Queen And the percentage rated "poor" or "very poor" increased from 50 percent last week to 53 percent in this week's report.

Soybeans benefited from the rains, with crops rated "poor" to "very poor" decreasing from 51 percent to 46 percent. The percentage rated "good" or "excellent" increased from 19 percent last week to 22 percent this week.

Pasturelands improved, too. The percentage rated "poor" or "very poor" declined from 55 percent last week to 51 percent this week. In the barley fields, the lowest categories declined from 21 percent to 12 percent of the crop.

The gains are evident, too, in the soils. The percentage of Maryland topsoil rated "short" or "very short" of moisture decreased from 82 percent last week to 68 percent in this week's report. Subsoil moisture in the "short" or "very short" catergories declined from 77 percent to 62 percent.

How about your garden? See any improvements? Or are the recent gains evaporating in the continuing heat?

(SUN PHOTO: by Jed Kirschbaum; Lynne Twining, Baltimore County Farm Queen, 1995)

Posted by Frank Roylance at 4:29 PM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Drought


In Howard County, the grass greened up, and the corn looks "OK" - the lower leaves are yellowed but the top 2/3 of the stalks look OK. Much better than they did before the rains last week, when the leaves were rolled up and wilted looking.

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About Frank Roylance
This site is the Maryland Weather archive. The current Maryland Weather blog can be found here.
Frank Roylance is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun. He came to Baltimore from New Bedford, Mass. in 1980 to join the old Evening Sun. He moved to the morning Sun when the papers merged in 1992, and has spent most of his time since covering science, including astronomy and the weather. One of The Baltimore Sun's first online Web logs, the Weather Blog debuted in October 2004. In June 2006 Frank also began writing comments on local weather and stargazing for The Baltimore Sun's print Weather Page. Frank also answers readers’ weather queries for the newspaper and the blog. Frank Roylance retired in October 2011. Maryland Weather is now being updated by members of The Baltimore Sun staff

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