Ag Chat with Bob Bosold- August 6

ALTOONA, Wis.. (WEAU) -- Good news and bad news for U.S. agricultural exports in June. Their value fell just over a billion dollars for the month to just under 10.8 billion-the first time this year that total has been below $11 billion. But imports were also down-to 10.6 billion dollars-giving us a trade surplus for the first time in 3 months.

Mount McKinley (Denali) at Denali National Park Alaska, Photo Date: June 29, 2010 / Photo: Ken Conger / NPS / (MGN)

Crops around the country continue to struggle as good to excellent ratings are at their lowest for this time during the growing season since 2012. Corn is now rated just 57% good to excellent and that's down 1% from last week. The report also shows 78% of the corn is silking-15% behind the five year average. Indiana, Michigan, Ohio and Wisconsin are the furthest behind with just 44% of Michigan's corn silking. Soybeans are also behind around the country with the crop now rated just 54% good to excellent-about 13% behind last year's ratings for the first week of August. Just 72% of the beans are blooming-well behind last year's rate of 87% as Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Missouri have the poorest looking soybeans around the country.

In Wisconsin, the corn is rated 65% good to excellent-up 2 percentage points from last week. But it's way behind past years as only 53% of the crop has silked. That number is normally over 80% for the first of August. Soybeans are rated 69% good to excellent-up 4% from a week ago as 66% of the crop is blooming and 29% of the plants are setting pods-but both numbers are way behind normal progress. State farmers have also put up 87% of their second crop and 23% of their third hay crops and harvested 24% of their oats and 46% of their winter wheat crops. Topsoil moisture conditions this week are rated 86% adequate to surplus, 12% short and 2% very short with Eastern Wisconsin being the driest part of the state.

County fair season continues this week. The Clark County fair starts tomorrow in Neillsville with the Adams, Pierce and Rusk county fairs all starting on Thursday. The Wisconsin State Fair is also underway and will continue through this coming Sunday, the 11th in West Allis.