STARKVILLE, Miss. — Most of the soybean crop in Mississippi has good potential, despite some challenges coming late in the growing season.

Trent Irby, soybean specialist with the Mississippi State University Extension Service, says more than 60 percent of the crop was planted in April.

An extension service news release says the early planting date is an advantage because the crop has the potential to avoid times when it is vulnerable to certain diseases and insects common in the summer.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates 90 percent of the crop was blooming and 76 percent was setting pods by July 23. That is ahead of the five-year average, and the overall crop condition is rated as 70 percent fair or good and 22 percent excellent.

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