Market News & Headlines >> Corn, Soybean Crop Outlook Strong

The U.S. corn and soybean crops are off to an exceptionally good start and there appear to be no significant weather hurdles for crop development at the moment.

Soil moisture is favorable across most of the Corn Belt and widespread rains this week promise a recharge for some areas that may be starting to dry out. The potential problem for some areas at this point is too much rainfall.

While computer weather models call for a bit of a high pressure ridge to form over the Plains and the western Corn Belt late next week, weather forecasters are not concerned that it will be a strong “blocking ridge” that will keep moisture out of the Corn Belt for any significant period of time. Midday models on Tuesday indicated warmer, drier conditions for June 20-24, but a short stretch of such conditions would be helpful for much of the crop at this point.

USDA’s first weekly soybean condition ratings of the season, released in Monday afternoon’s weekly crop update showed 74% of the U.S. soybean crop rated good/excellent as of Sunday.  The rating was at the high end of expectations and was the highest on record for that point of the growing season going back to 1986.

USDA rated the corn crop 75% good/excellent, down 1 point from a week earlier and at the low end of expectations. However, the corn rating still compared favorably with the five-year average of 69% for that week of the year.

Soybean planting remained ahead of normal, advancing 9 percentage points to 87% complete as of Sunday versus the five-year average of 81% and only 69% a year earlier.  Soybean emergence also remained ahead, rising 21 points to 71%, against the average pace of 62% and only 46% a year earlier.

Corn emergence moved ahead of normal at 92% vs. the average pace of 90% and last year’s 83%. USDA stopped reporting nationwide corn planting progress with most of the crop having been planted, although producers are still wrapping up planting in the northern and eastern parts of the Corn Belt.

Corn conditions were held steady or improved in many key growing states last week. The only notable exception was Nebraska were the portion of the crop rated good/excellent declined by 6 points to 70% due largely to wind and hail damage caused by the severe storm system that moved through the state at midweek. Conditions were especially favorable across the northern tier of Corn Belt states, even though most of the crop went in the ground a bit late due to cool, wet conditions earlier this spring.