U.S. corn  and soybean  conditions slipped slightly last week as hot weather adversely affected crops in the central Plains and the Mississippi River Delta, while excessive rainfall hurt crops in other areas.
However, steady to higher ratings for major Midwestern producing states limited the decline in crop ratings and crop development remained ahead of normal due to warm weather and ample moisture across the heart of the Midwest.
USDA  rated the U.S. corn crop 71% good/excellent as of Sunday, down 1 percentage point from a week earlier, but 3 percentage points above a year earlier. Soybean conditions were pegged at 66% good/excellent, down 1 point from a week earlier and a year earlier.
USDA reported that 31% of the U.S. corn crop had reached the dough stage of development as of Sunday, up from only 13% a year earlier and a five-year average of 24%. Some 7% of the crop was already denting against an average pace of 5%.
Soybean development also remained ahead of normal, with 53% of the U.S. crop reported setting pods against 33% a year earlier and a five-year average of 48%.
The most significant decline in corn conditions came in South Dakota where the good/excellent rating for the crop dipped 5 percentage points to 71% largely due to the negative impact of excessive rains in the southeast part of the state.
In Kansas, corn conditions declined to 68% good/excellent from 72% previously due to the effects of hot, dry weather.
However, corn conditions were unchanged in the top growing state of Iowa at 70% good/excellent and the rating in No. 2 Illinois improved one point to 66% good/excellent.
Minnesota continued to enjoy excellent growing weather with corn conditions there improving to 90% good/excellent from 89% last week.
Minnesota soybean conditions also improved last week to 87% good/excellent from 85% previously, while the crop rating for Illinois rose one point to 64% good/excellent and Iowa soybean conditions held steady at 71% good/excellent.
Notable declines in soybean conditions occurred in Nebraska, South Dakota and Kentucky.
The good/excellent rating for Nebraska soybeans fell 4 points to 77%, while the South Dakota good/excellent rating fell 5 points to 65% and the Kentucky crop rating fell 6 points to 57% good/excellent.
Editor’s note: Richard Brock, Corn & Soybean Digest's marketing editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.