Market News & Headlines >> Corn Conditions Drop Unexpectedly

U.S. corn conditions took an unexpected dip last week as hot weather in the U.S. Plains depleted topsoil moisture there, Monday afternoon’s weekly USDA Crop Progress report showed. The nationwide soybean crop rating held steady, however, as lower ratings in the Plains states were offset by improved conditions elsewhere. 

USDA rated U.S. corn conditions 71% good/excellent, down 4 percentage points from a week earlier and 4 points below the average of trade estimates in a Reuters News Service survey, with an estimated 95% of the crop having emerged. The weekly crop rating was still 12 points above a year earlier. Some 5% of the crop was rated poor/very poor, up from 4% a week earlier, but down from 10% a year earlier. 

The good/excellent rating for the Nebraska corn crop fell by 12 points to 71%, while the good/excellent rating for the Kansas crop was down 6 points to 54%. The portion of the crop rated good/excellent also fell by 5 points in both North and South Dakota. The crop rating in the top growing state of Iowa slipped to 83% from 85%, while the rating for the Illinois crop slipped to 63% good/excellent from 65% and the rating for the Minnesota crop rose to 84% good/excellent from 83%. 

U.S. soybean conditions were pegged at 72% good/excellent, unchanged from the previous week and in line with the average of trade expectations. USDA still had not published soybean crop ratings at the same point last year with the crop late due to severe planting delays. Soybean planting progress was pegged at 93%, up from 72% last year and the 5-year average of 88%. Some 81% of the U.S. crop was estimated to have emerged, up from just 49% last year and the five-year average of 75%. 

Looking at the key soybean growing states, the crop rating for the top soybean state of Iowa held steady with a week earlier at 82% good/excellent, while the Illinois crop rating slipped to 64% good/excellent from 67%. The Minnesota crop rating held steady at 84% good/excellent, while the Nebraska rating slipped to 78% good/excellent from 82%.