Market News & Headlines >> Corn Conditions Steady, Soybean Planting Slows

U.S. corn conditions held steady last week, while soybean planting progressed a bit more slowly than expected amid cool, wet conditions in some growing areas.

USDA pegged the condition of the U.S. corn crop at 74% good/excellent for the second week in a row, compared with the year-earlier rating of 76%.  Some 3% of the crop was rated poor, unchanged from a week earlier and just above 2% a year earlier. Trade estimates of U.S. corn conditions averaged 75% good/excellent, according to a Reuters News Service poll.

Soybean planting progress advanced 10 percentage points last week to 71% complete, behind last year’s pace of 75%, which was also the average of trade estimates, but still 1 point ahead of the five-year average pace. USDA estimated that 49% of the U.S. soybean crop had emerged, ahead of 46% last year and the five-year average of 45%.

Soybean planting continued to lag badly behind normal in Missouri and Kansas due to wet conditions there. Only 21% of the Kansas crop had been planted as of Sunday, versus the average pace of 63%, while 23% of the Missouri crop had been planted against an average of 57%. Nebraska and Arkansas are also behind on planting.

The corn crop in the top growing state of Iowa was rated 80% good/excellent, up from 79%  a week earlier, while the crop in No. 2 producer Illinois was rated 79% good/excellent, down from 80% previously. The highest corn crop ratings were in Ohio and Pennsylvania, both at 87% good/excellent, followed by Wisconsin at 84% good/excellent. The lowest ratings were in Kansas at 50% good/excellent, down from 52% last week and Missouri at 53% good/excellent, down from 62% previously.

Next week’s crop update is expected to contain the first nationwide ratings for soybean conditions. Some states are already issuing ratings, with the Illinois crop rated 77% good/excellent and only 3% poor/very as of Sunday.