Market News & Headlines >> Corn Crop Off to Great Start

USDA’s first corn crop ratings of the new growing season showed the U.S. crop is off to a better-than-average start thanks to good soil moisture and recent warmer temperatures.

Monday’s weekly crop update from USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service pegged U.S. corn conditions at 76% good/excellent, up from 63% a year earlier and above the average trade forecast of 70% in a Reuters News Service survey. Only 2% of the crop was rated poor, with none very poor.  Meanwhile, corn emergence was on par with the five-year average at 80% and planting progress of 95% was a point ahead.

Corn conditions were especially favorable in the No 1 corn growing state of Iowa at 82% good/excellent and only 1% poor as of Sunday, up from  only 57% a year earlier.  Iowa crop emergence of 89% was on par with average and 19 points ahead of last year.

Illinois crop conditions were rated 70% good/excellent and only 3% poor/very poor. Some 91% of the Illinois corn crop was said to be emerged, ahead of last year’s 79% and the five-year average of 82%.

U.S. soybean planting progress moved further ahead of normal last week, advancing 19 percentage points to 78% complete, 8 points ahead of the five-year average. Nationwide soybean emergence was at 50%, up from only 29% last year and the average pace of 45%.

In Iowa, 94% of the soybean crop had been planted and 64% had emerged, ahead of the averages of 83% and 59% respectively, while in Illinois, 85% of the crop had been planted and 59% had emerged, well ahead of the averages of 65% and 44%. Soybean planting will likely be slowed this week by wetter weather across the Midwest, but the moisture should be favorable for newly emerged fields.

The soybean crop is off to a good start in southern production areas where it is farther along. Arkansas soybean conditions were rated 74% good/excellent, according to the state office of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, while Mississippi soybean conditions were rated 76% good/excellent, by that’s state’s NASS office.