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USDA crop progress: First look at 2022 soybean quality

Getty/iStockphoto hand holding young seedling in soybean field
Ratings come in close to analyst expectations last week

The newest USDA crop progress report, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through June 12, saw 2022 corn and soybean plantings take another step toward completion. Corn quality ratings eroded slightly, against analyst expectations. And USDA’s first look at soybean quality ratings were slightly ahead of the average trade guess.

Corn plantings reached 97% through Sunday, up from 94% a week ago. That was one point behind the average trade guess of 98%. It was also mostly in line with what has typically been planted by mid-June, with an identical prior five-year average of 97%. Nearly nine in ten acres (88%) is now emerged, up from 78% a week ago and slightly behind the prior five-year average of 89%.

Corn quality ratings took a slight step back, with 72% of the crop now rated in good-to-excellent condition. Another 23% is rated fair (unchanged from last week), with the remaining 5% rated poor or very poor (up a point from last week).

Soybean planting progress came in as expected, moving from 78% last week up to 88% through Sunday. That’s identical to the prior five-year average but five points behind 2021’s pace of 93%. And 70% of the crop is now emerged, up from 56% a week ago but four points behind the prior five-year average of 74%.

USDA’s first look at quality ratings showed conditions nearly match the average trade guess of 70% rated in good-to-excellent condition, with 69% landing in those top two categories. Another 25% is rated fair, with the remaining 5% rated poor or very poor.

Spring wheat plantings kept moving ahead, albeit at a slower clip than normal. Through Sunday, 94% of the crop was in the ground, up from 82% a week ago. In 2021, all of the crop had been planted by this time of year, with a prior five-year average of 99%. Fifty-four percent of the crop is rated in good-to-excellent condition, with was well above last year’s initial mark of 37%.

Winter wheat quality ratings were mixed. Top-end ratings improved a point, as expected, with 31% of the crop now rated in good-to-excellent condition. Another 27% is rated fair (down three points from last week), with the remaining 42% rated poor or very poor (up two points from last week).

Physiologically, 86% of the crop is now headed, up from 79% last week. And harvest progress reached 10%, which was up from the prior week’s progress of 5% but two points behind the prior five-year average of 12%.

Click here for more data from today’s USDA crop progress report, including the agency’s observations on days suitable for fieldwork and topsoil moisture conditions.

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