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USDA crop progress: Corn, soybean quality mostly stable

Getty/iStockphoto Getty soybean field beginning to turn in fall
Winter wheat plantings for the 2022/23 season begin

The latest USDA crop progress report, covering the week through September 4, held a variety of planting and harvest data, along with information on various physiological stages and quality rating updates. Of note, corn and soybean quality ratings held mostly steady, despite analysts expecting to see a decline for both crops. Also, USDA offered its first look at 2022/23 winter wheat planting progress this week.

Corn quality held mostly steady last week, with 54% of the crop in good-to-excellent condition through September 4. The G/E split did shift slightly, moving from 42/12 last week to 43/11. Another 27% of the crop was rated fair (unchanged from last week), with the remaining 19% rated poor or very poor (also unchanged from last week).

Physiologically, 92% of the crop has reached the dough stage, up from 86% a week ago. Sixty-three percent is now dented, up from 46% last week. And 15% is now fully mature, up from 8% a week ago. All three maturity categories are running slightly behind the prior five-year average.

Soybean quality ratings were also mostly stable last week, with 57% rated in good-to-excellent condition. As with corn, ratings saw a slight G/E shift, moving from 46/11 a week ago to 47/10 through September 4. Another 29% of the crop is rated fair (down a point from last week), with the remaining 14% rated poor or very poor (up a point from last week).

Physiologically, 94% of the crop is now setting pods, up from 91% a week ago and two points behind the prior five-year average of 96%. And 10% is dropping leaves, up from 4% a week ago and four points below the prior five-year average of 14%.

USDA has been tracking winter wheat planting progress for the 2022/23 season, with nine of the top 18 production states showing measurable progress so far. That’s a bit behind 2021’s pace of 5% but mirrors the prior five-year average.

The spring wheat harvest advanced more quickly than expected, reaching 71% through Sunday versus the average trade guess of 67%. This year’s pace is still well behind 2021’s mark of 94% along with the prior five-year average of 83%.

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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