USDA crop progress: Corn quality firms two points

Soybean quality holds steady from a week ago

Ben Potter, Senior editor

August 9, 2021

2 Min Read
Ear of corn with silk
Getty Images/Oleg Elkov

The latest set of crop progress data from USDA, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through August 8, held some unexpectedly bullish data – especially for corn quality, which improved two points despite analyst expectations that it would remain unchanged this week. Spring wheat conditions also moved a point higher, while soybean quality held steady.

Corn quality firmed two points higher this past week, with 64% of the crop now rated in good-to-excellent condition. Analysts thought USDA would hold those ratings steady at 62%, in contrast. Another 25% of the crop is rated fair (down two points from last week), with the remaining 11% rated poor or very poor (unchanged from a week ago).

Physiologically, USDA provided updates on three crop stages:

  1. Silking is at 95% (up from 91% last week)

  2. Dough stage is at 56% (up from 38% last week)

  3. Dented is at 8% (N/A last week)

Soybean ratings held steady from a week ago, with 60% of the crop rated in good-to-excellent condition through Sunday. Another 27% is rated fair (down a point from last week), with the remaining 13% rated poor or very poor (up a point from last week).

Physiologically, nearly all (91%) of the crop is now blooming, up from 86% a week ago and still ahead of the prior five-year average of 89%. And 72% is now setting pods, up from 58% last week and also ahead of the prior five-year average of 68%.

Spring wheat crop quality improved a point, but only 11% is rated in good-to-excellent condition. Another 28% is rated fair (up two points from last week), with the remaining 61% rated poor or very poor (down three points from a week ago). Harvest moved to 17% complete a week ago up to 38% through Sunday. Minnesota has made the most progress among the top six production states, at 76% complete.

Winter wheat harvest is inching toward completion, moving from 91% complete a week ago up to 95%. That’s moderately faster than 2020’s pace of 89% and the prior five-year average of 91%.

Click here to read the latest USDA crop progress report for additional information on cotton, rice, peanuts, sorghum, sunflowers and more.

About the Author(s)

Ben Potter

Senior editor, Farm Futures

Senior Editor Ben Potter brings two decades of professional agricultural communications and journalism experience to Farm Futures. He began working in the industry in the highly specific world of southern row crop production. Since that time, he has expanded his knowledge to cover a broad range of topics relevant to agriculture, including agronomy, machinery, technology, business, marketing, politics and weather. He has won several writing awards from the American Agricultural Editors Association, most recently on two features about drones and farmers who operate distilleries as a side business. Ben is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

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