The agriculture department is reporting 53 percent of the U.S. cotton crop was setting bolls as of Aug. 4 and that drier weather across parts of the Southeast allowed some fields which were saturated to dry out.

Overall, crop progress was 18 percent behind this time in 2012 and 17 points behind the five-year average.

The Tennessee crop is the most behind schedule with 49 percent of bolls setting compared to a five-year average of 81 percent.

For the Southeast as a whole, additional warm, sunny days will be needed to aid crop development.

In its Aug. 4 report, USDA classified 10 percent of the U.S. crop as excellent, with 35 percent rated good. Conditions for the excellent and good ratings were equal to the previous week.

Overall, current crop ratings are slightly higher than ratings at this time last year when 9 percent and 32 percent of the crop was rated excellent and good, respectively.

In California and Arizona, 100 percent of the crop is rated fair or better.

In the Southeast, all states show at least 85 percent of their crop rated fair or better.

In the Mid-South, all states show at least 90 percent of their crop rated fair or better.

However, drought concerns persist in the Southwest. Currently, Texas and Oklahoma report 31 percent and 25 percent in the poor/very poor categories, respectively.

Complete state-by-state crop progress is on the NCC's website at www.cotton.org/econ/cropinfo/progress.cfm.