Market News & Headlines >> Soybean Conditions Improve More Than Expected

The U.S. soybean crop rating improved more than expected last week as timely rains provided a strong boost to the crop in the No. 2 producing state of Illinois, however, crop development remained well behind normal, clouding yield potential. 

Corn conditions improved in line with trade expectations in the wake of needed rainfall in dry areas of the Corn Belt, but corn development also remained well behind normal. 

USDA rated 55% of the U.S. soybean crop good/excellent as of Sunday, August 25, up 2 percentage points from a week earlier and 1 point above the average of trade expectations, according to a Reuters News Service survey. The U.S. crop rating was still 11 percentage points below a year earlier. 

USDA estimated 79% of the U.S. soybean crop was setting pods compared with the five-year average of 91%, while 6% of U.S. soybean acres had not yet started blooming. The portion of the crop setting pods was the lowest for the date since 1990. 

Some 57% of the U.S. corn crop was rated in good/excellent condition, up 1 point from a week earlier and on par with the average of trade expectations, but still 11 points below a year earlier.

USDA estimated 71% of the U.S. corn crop had reached the dough stage, well behind the five-year average of 87%, and the slowest pace since 2009, while only 27% of the crop had reached the dent stage versus the average pace of 46%. 

The portion of the Illinois soybean crop rated good/excellent jumped 10 percentage points on the week to 50%, while the portion of the state’s corn crop rated good/excellent rose 7 percentage points to 49%. 

The corn crop ratings in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and Indiana were unchanged from a week earlier. For soybeans, the good/excellent ratings for Iowa and Nebraska rose by one point each, while the Minnesota and Indiana ratings were unchanged.