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. 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)