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USDA crop progress: Spring wheat quality crumbles (again)

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Corn quality mostly steady from a week ago, with soybean ratings up slightly

USDA’s latest set of crop progress data, released Monday afternoon and covering the week through July 18, showed corn quality has mostly stabilized from a week ago, while soybean quality is trending modestly higher. Spring wheat quality continues to struggle, dropping another five points lower this past week. Winter wheat harvest progress gained some much-needed forward momentum, meantime.

For corn, 65% of the crop is rated in good-to-excellent condition, unchanged from a week ago. Analysts were expecting to see a one-point improvement this week. Another 26% of the crop is rated fair (down a point from last week), with the remaining 9% rated poor or very poor (up a point from last week).

Corn crop maturity is advancing a bit more quickly versus recent years, with 56% now at the silking stage. That’s a big jump from the prior week’s mark of 26%. It’s also ahead of 2020’s pace of 55% and the prior five-year average of 52%. Eight percent of the crop has reached the dough stage, up from 3% a week ago and slightly ahead of the prior five-year average of 7%.

Soybean quality ratings improved a point last week, with 60% of the crop now in good-to-excellent condition, mirroring analyst estimates. Another 29% of the crop is rated fair (down a point from last week), with the remaining 11% rated poor or very poor (unchanged from a week ago).

Physiologically, 63% of this year’s crop is now blooming, up from 46% last week and moderately ahead of the prior five-year average of 57%. And 23% is now setting pods, jumping from last week’s mark of 10% and a bit ahead of the prior five-year average of 21%.

This year’s embattled spring wheat crop saw quality ratings erode another five points lower last week, with just 11% of the crop now rated in good-to-excellent condition through Sunday. Another 26% is rated fair (down three points from last week), with the remaining 63% rated poor or very poor (up eight points from a week ago). Nearly all (92%) of the crop is now headed, up from 83% a week ago and identical to the prior five-year average.

The 2020/21 winter wheat harvest is nearly three-fourths complete, reaching 73% this past week. Harvest made good forward momentum versus last week’s mark of 59% and puts this year’s pace right in line with the prior five-year average of 74%.

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


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