Market News & Headlines >> Corn, Soybean Conditions Slip More Than Expected
USDA’s weekly corn and soybean crop ratings fell more than expected last week as hot, dry weather stressed crops in the western Corn Belt, while conditions improved in the eastern Belt.
USDA pegged U.S. corn conditions at 55% good/excellent as of Sunday, down two percentage points from a week earlier and six points from a year earlier. The reading, which was the lowest for the period since the drought year of 2012, was also one point below the average of trade estimates in a Reuters News Service survey.
USDA estimated U.S. soybean conditions at 52% good/excellent, down two percentage points from a week earlier and eight points from a year earlier. The reading, which was also the lowest for the period since 2012, was also one point below the average of trade estimates.
Both the corn and soybean crops continued to develop at a good pace. USDA estimated 84% of the U.S. corn crop was silking as of Sunday, 2 points ahead of the five-year average, while 29% had reached the dough stage, on par with average. USDA estimated 83% of the U.S. soybean crop was blooming, ahead of the five-year average pace of 78%, with 50% already setting pods versus the average of 47%.
Not surprisingly corn conditions were hurt by the heat wave the hit the western Corn Belt. Notably, the good/excellent rating for the crop in the top growing state of Iowa fell 4 percentage points to 59%, while the good/excellent rating for the Minnesota crop slid 7 points to just 47% and the good/excellent rating for the Nebraska crop fell 5 points to 57%. Conditions to the east improved, though, as the portion of the corn crop rated good/excellent rose by 4 points in Illinois to 49% and rose by 2 points in Indiana to 63%. Ratings also improved in Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio.
Soybean crop ratings were also down across the western part of the growing belt while they improved in the eastern part. The portion of the Iowa crop rated good/excellent fell 3 points to 55%, while good/excellent rating for the Minnesota crop dived 8 points to 48% and the good/excellent rating for Nebraska soybeans slipped 2 points to 54%. On the other hand, the portion of the Illinois crop rated good/excellent rose 2 points to 46% and the good/excellent rating for the Indiana crop jumped 6 points to 65%. Soybean crop ratings also rose in Wisconsin, Michigan and Kentucky, while holding steady in Ohio.