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USDA crop progress: Corn quality down another point

Getty/JJ Gouin Getty mature corn.jpg
Soybean quality ratings largely steady for the week ending August 28

Corn ratings slid another point lower in USDA’s latest crop progress report, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through August 28, matching analyst expectations. But analysts also predicted a one-point decline in soybeans ratings, which did not come to pass. Spring wheat quality ratings unexpectedly jumped four points higher, with harvest progress reaching the halfway mark.

Corn quality eased another point lower last week, with 54% of the crop rated in good-to-excellent condition through Sunday. Another 27% was rated fair (unchanged from last week), with the remaining 19% rated poor or very poor (up a point from last week). Wisconsin is now leading the charge among the top 18 production states, with 76% of the state’s crop in good-to-excellent condition.

Physiologically, 86% has reached the dough stage, 46% is now dented, and 8% is fully mature. All three categories are running behind the prior five-year average.

Soybean quality held mostly steady, with 57% of the crop rated in good-to-excellent condition through Sunday (although the G/E split shifted from 47/10 to 46/11). Another 30% is rated fair (unchanged from last week), with the remaining 13% rated poor or very poor (also unchanged from last week). Wisconsin also leads the top 18 production states in soybean quality, with 74% rated in good-to-excellent condition.

This year’s crop is maturing a bit more slowly than it has in recent years. Ninety-one percent is now setting pods, versus the prior five-year average of 92%. And 4% is now dropping leaves, versus the prior five-year average of 7%.

Analysts were expecting to see stable spring wheat ratings, but USDA surprisingly moved them four points higher, with 68% of the crop now rated in good-to-excellent condition. Another 26% is rated fair (down two points from last week), with the remaining 6% rated poor or very poor (down two points from last week).

Spring wheat harvest has reached the halfway point, up from 33% a week earlier. That’s much slower than 2021’s pace of 86% and the prior five-year average of 71%.

Click here for more data from the latest USDA crop progress report, including the agency’s observations about sorghum, oats, cotton, rice and other regionally significant crops.

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