Corn, soybean and spring wheat ratings again disappoint

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Corn ratings decline

USDA rated 64% of the U.S. corn crop “good” or “excellent” (G/E) as of July 25, an unexpected one-point dip from the week prior, with ongoing dryness and some high temperatures continuing to stress crops in northern and western areas of the Midwest. Analysts had expected USDA’s G/E rating to hold steady. The department’s “poor” to “very poor” (P/VP) rating rose a point to 10%.

USDA reports 79% of the crop was silking as of Sunday, a 23-point advance from the week prior. That includes 80% of the Iowa crop, 84% of Nebraska’s crop and 68% of South Dakota’s crop, where temperatures are expected to climb well into the 90s and possibly the 100s this week. Development is a bit more advanced than is typically the case at this point in the season when the five-year average shows 73% of the crop is usually silking.

As of Sunday, 18% of the U.S. corn crop was in the dough stage, which is a point ahead of the average.

 

This week

Last week

Year-ago

Very poor

3

2

2

Poor

7

7

5

Fair

26

26

21

Good

49

50

55

Excellent

15

15

17

 

 

Soybean ratings also surprise to the downside

USDA’s lower soybean condition rating also caught the market off guard. Analysts surveyed by Reuters expected the department to again rate 60% of the crop G/E, but instead it lowered its rating two percentage points to 58%. Its P/VP rating also climbed a point to 12%. High temperatures and lingering dryness for the northwest Corn Belt more than offset generally favorable conditions elsewhere.

In Minnesota, just 36% of the crop is rated in the top two categories, a seven-point week-to-week dive. In Iowa, the G/E rating dropped five points to 61%. In Illinois, ratings dropped four points to 64% G/E. North Dakota now has just 17% of its beans rated G/E, a three-point dip from last week.

Crop development is a bit ahead of average heading into the key month of August. Today’s update shows 76% of the crop is blooming (71% on average) and 42% of it is setting pods (36% on average).

 

This week

Last week

Year-ago

Very poor

3

3

1

Poor

9

8

5

Fair

30

29

22

Good

47

49

57

Excellent

11

11

15

 

 

Two-thirds of the spring wheat crop is rated P/VP

Analysts once again underestimated the impact of heat and drought on the spring wheat crop. USDA’s G/E rating for the HRS wheat crop dropped another two points to 9%, whereas analysts had expected just a one-point dip. The amount of spring wheat rated P/VP shot three points higher to 66%.

Harvest of the crop is just getting started, with 3% of it cut as of July 25, a point ahead of the five-year average and a bit slower than the 4% harvested analysts surveyed by Reuters anticipated. Ninety-seven percent of the crop is headed, according to USDA.

 

This week

Last week

Year-ago

Very poor

32

29

2

Poor

34

34

4

Fair

25

26

24

Good

8

10

60

Excellent

1

1

10

 

 

As-expected winter wheat harvest

Winter wheat harvest advanced 11 percentage points over the past week to 84% complete as of Sunday, which was right in line with expectations and three percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Harvest is nearly complete in top-producing Kansas, where 98% of the crop has been collected.

 

Cotton condition ratings continue to improve

Sixty-one percent of the U.S. cotton crop is now rated G/E, a one-point rise from the week prior. Last year at this time, 49% of the crop received top marks. World Weather Inc. indicated conditions are likely to remain favorable this week, with some warming expected for West Texas.

That should aid crop development that is slightly behind the norm. As of Sunday, 78% of the crop was squaring and 37% of it was setting bolls. Both figures lag the five-year average by five percentage points. 

 

This week

Last week

Year-ago

Very poor

1

2

3

Poor

7

7

13

Fair

31

31

35

Good

50

49

40

Excellent

11

11

9

 

 

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