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FORT COLLINS, (Colo.): Crop Watch corn and soybeans in the western US Corn Belt last week had their second consecutive dry week after decent moisture earlier in the month. That dry trend moved eastward in the past several days because now all producers are reporting the need for rain.

The only Crop Watch location that received good rainfall this past week was southeastern Illinois with an unexpected 2 inches (51 mm) on Sunday, and those fields are set for now. Less than a half inch was observed in the Dakotas, Minnesota, western Illinois and Ohio. The other five locations had none.

Western Belt producers have recently reported that high humidity - and in some cases heavy morning dew - seem to be helping crops make it through the dry stretch as they provide a little extra moisture.

The next few days are predicted to remain drier than normal, and temperatures will be very hot early in the week, especially out west. Rain possibilities exist by the weekend for some areas and particularly in the east, but the overall trend is still on the drier side. Temperatures are seen dropping to more normal or cooler levels to start off August.

The 11 Crop Watch producers offer weekly condition and yield scores on their subject corn and soybean fields. Those are on 1-to-5 scales, with 1 being very poor conditions, 3 average and 5 excellent. A 1 for yield potential reflects expectations for well below average yields, while 4 would indicate above average and 5 well above average or record.

The unweighted, 11-field average corn yield fell slightly to 3.93 from 3.95 last week as small cuts in North Dakota and western Iowa offset an increase in South Dakota.

That corn yield score is similar to the same week in 2018 but below the same week last year, which was at 4.2. Crop Watch had eight locations in those years.

The 11-field soybean average yield was unchanged at 3.93 with offsetting tweaks in the Dakotas. That is in line with the eight-field average from the same point in 2018 but just below last year’s score of 4.

Corn and soybean conditions at 4.16 and 4.07, respectively, were each down fractionally on the week. Corn conditions improved slightly in Nebraska but declined in North Dakota and western Iowa, and soybean conditions also slipped in western Iowa. The following are the states and counties of the 2021 Crop Watch corn and soybean fields: Griggs, North Dakota; Kingsbury, South Dakota; Freeborn, Minnesota; Burt, Nebraska; Rice, Kansas; Audubon, Iowa; Cedar, Iowa; Warren, Illinois; Crawford, Illinois; Tippecanoe, Indiana; Fairfield, Ohio.

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