Print Masthead

content | navigation | back

USDA Logo

United States Department of Agriculture
National Agricultural Statistics Service

images of U.S. agricuture
Search NASS Advanced SearchSearch TipsBrowse NASS by Subject Crops and Plants Demographics Economics Environmental Livestock and Animals Charts and Maps Research and Science Education and Outreach Statistics by State #
You are here:  Home /

  National Crop Progress - Terms and Definitions

General:

These terms and definitions should be used only as guidelines. Individual interpretations may vary from State to State. Only those items included in the National Crop Progress release are discussed.

divider

Definitions:

 

Top and Sub-Soil Moisture: (with top-soil defined as the top 6 inches):

  • Very Short - Soil moisture supplies are significantly less than what is required for normal plant development. Growth has been stopped or nearly so and plants are showing visible signs of moisture stress. Under these conditions, plants will quickly suffer irreparable damage.
  • Short - Soil dry. Seed germination and/or normal crop growth and development would be curtailed.
  • Adequate - Soil moist. Seed germination and/or crop growth and development would be normal or unhindered.
  • Surplus - Soil wet. Fields may be muddy and will generally be unable to absorb additional moisture. Young developing crops may be yellowing from excess moisture.

 

Return to Top

 

Days Suitable for Fieldwork: A 'suitable' day is one where weather and field conditions allowed producers to work in fields a major portion of that day.

 

General Crop Condition:

  • Very Poor - Extreme degree of loss to yield potential, complete or near crop failure. Pastures provide very little or no feed considering the time of year. Supplemental feeding is required to maintain livestock condition.
  • Poor - Heavy degree of loss to yield potential which can be caused by excess soil moisture, drought, disease, etc. Pastures are providing only marginal feed for the current time of year. Some supplemental feeding is required to maintain livestock condition.
  • Fair - Less than normal crop condition. Yield loss is a possibility but the extent is unknown. Pastures are providing generally adequate feed but still less than normal for the time of year.
  • Good - Yield prospects are normal. Moisture levels are adequate and disease, insect damage, and weed pressures are minor. Pastures are providing adequate feed supplies for the current time of year.
  • Excellent - Yield prospects are above normal. Crops are experiencing little or no stress. Disease, insect damage, and weed pressures are insignificant. Pastures are supplying feed in excess of what is normally expected at the current time of year.

 

Return to Top

 

Crop Progress Percents: Progress percents relate to acres and should indicate the progress of field activities or crop development. Generally, an acre should be considered in or beyond a phenological stage when 50 percent or more of the plants in that acre are in or beyond that stage.

 

Planted: A crop is considered planted when the seeds are placed in the ground. For transplanted crops, the planting period refers to the time of setting the plants in the field.

 

Harvested: A crop is considered harvested when the crop is cut, threshed, or otherwise gathered from the field.

 

Return to Top

 

Corn Phenological Stages:

  • Emerged - As soon as the plants are visible.
  • Silking - The emergence of silk like strands from the end of ears. Occurs approximately 10 days after the tassel first begins to emerge from the sheath or 2-4 days after the tassel is emerged.
  • Dough - Normally half of the kernels are showing dent with some thick or dough-like substance in all kernels.
  • Dent - Occurs when all kernels are fully dented and the ear is firm and solid. There is no milk present in most kernels.
  • Mature - Plant is considered safe from frost. Corn is about ready to harvest with shucks opening and there is no green foliage present.

 

Return to Top

 

Soybean Phenological Stages:

  • Emerged - As soon as the plants are visible.
  • Blooming - A plant should be considered as blooming as soon as one bloom appears.
  • Setting Pods - Pods are developing on the lower nodes with some blooming still occurring on the upper nodes.
  • Dropping Leaves - Leaves near the bottom of the plant are yellow and dropping, while leaves at the very top may still be green. Leaves are 30-50 percent yellow.

 

Return to Top

 

Cotton Phenological Stages:

  • Squaring - A plant should be considered as squaring after the appearance of a small triangular leaf-like structure on the growing tip of the main stem and/or branches.
  • Setting Bolls - A plant should be considered as setting bolls as soon as one bloom or boll is visible.
  • Bolls Opening - A plant should be considered in this stage as soon as white fibers are visible on at least one boll.

 

Return to Top

 

Sorghum Phenological Stages:

  • Headed - The head is present, visible, and fully emerged.
  • Coloring - The head is turning color from green to reddish brown or white. Leaves are also turning yellow or brown.
  • Mature - Grains readily part from the head and are tough and not easily crushed by the thumbnail.

 

Barley, Oats, Wheat and Rice Phenological Stages:

  • Emerged - As soon as the plants are visible.
  • Headed - The head is present, visible, and fully emerged.

 

Return to Top

 

Peanut Phenological Stages:

  • Pegging - After pollination, when the plant's petals begin to wither and fall, a stalk called the peg forms and begins to grow toward the ground.

 

 

 


Last modified: 08/25/09

Follow NASS

social media thumbnails Follow NASS on Twitter USDA on Facebook NASS RSS Feeds NASS on YouTube USDA on Flickr

Receive reports by Email

National | State | News

#