Editor’s note: John Maday is Managing Editor for Drovers Magazine, a sister publication of Pork.

USDA’s latest Crop Progress report shows the U.S. corn crop, on average, developing faster and in slightly better condition than last year at this time.

The report lists 84 percent of the crop in the top 18 corn states as having reached the silking stage as of July 25, compared with 52 percent one year ago and a five-year average of 70 percent for the date. Some of the crop has reached dough stage – 17 percent compared with 7 percent a year ago and a five-year average of 13 percent.

As for crop conditions, the report rates 72 percent of the crop in the top 18 states as good or excellent, and 9 percent as poor or very poor. That compares with 70 percent good to excellent and 8 percent poor or very poor one year ago.

The full report is available online from USDA.