The U.S. Department of Agriculture kept the corn crop condition rating at 62% good/excellent for the second week in a row in its weekly "Crop Progress" report. Soybeans improved one point from last week to 61% good/excellent. These numbers compare to 75% good/excellent for corn and 73% good/excellent for soybeans in 2016.
"Ratings for corn and soybeans continue to stay relatively stable as the growing season winds down, but once again, USDA’s national ratings showed some differences from our state-by-state analysis of condition reports," Farm Futures senior grain market analyst Bryce Knorr said.
"Our forecast of corn yields based on the state reports eased three-tenths of a bushel per acre (bpa) to 164.7 bpa," Knorr said. "USDA made no changes to its nationwide ratings, so our forecast derived from that report was unchanged at 167.4 bpa. Both estimates are below USDA’s Aug. 10 projection of 169.5 bpa."
Corn crop conditions dropped across the Interstate 80 corridor from Colorado (81% to 73%) to Ohio (60% to 59%), with conditions also deteriorating in Kansas (57% to 55%) and Wisconsin (70% to 69%).
Pennsylvania's corn crop scored the best this week, with half the state's corn crop rated excellent and another 42% rated good. Tennessee came in second, with nearly half (49%) of the state's corn crop rated good and another 37% rated excellent. Rounding out the top five were Minnesota at 82% good/excellent, Kentucky at 80% and Texas at 79%.
States with the poorest rated corn crops were states that have been plagued by drought. In South Dakota, 46% of the corn crop is rated good/excellent. In North Dakota, 50% of the state's corn is rated good/excellent. Also coming in with 50% of their crop in the good/excellent category were Ohio at 59%, Kansas and Michigan both at 55% and Illinois and Indiana both at 52%.
USDA said 86% of the nation's corn crop is in the dough stage, compared to 76% last week and 91% last year. The amount of corn dented jumped 15 points to 44%, compared to the five-year average of 51%. The nation's crop is maturing a little more slowly than the five-year average, coming in at 6% compared to the 10% five-year average and 8% last year.
"For soybeans, both rating systems improved, but USDA’s national conditions were considerably stronger," Knorr said. "Our projection of yields based on the national rating was up four-tenths of a bushel to 48.5 bpa. The state-by-state methodology showed only a one-tenth of a bushel bump to 47.5 bpa."
Tennessee had the highest-rated crop, with 80% good/excellent. In Mississippi, 76% of the crop was rated good/excellent. Other states with crop ratings in the 70s include Kentucky and North Carolina at 74%, Wisconsin at 73%, Minnesota at 72%, Arkansas at 71% and Louisiana at 70%.
In North Dakota, 51% of the crop is rated good/excellent; in South Dakota, it's 49%.
The crop is maturing right on schedule, with 97% of soybeans blooming and 87% setting pods, compared to the five-year averages of 97% and 85%, respectively.
The spring wheat harvest is moving right along, with 76% harvested, compared to 58% last week.
The sorghum harvest is 21% completed, and the 65% of the crop is rated good/excellent, compared to 66% last week.
The cotton crop is rated at 65% good/excellent, up from 63% last week.