Market News & Headlines >> U.S. Crop Ratings Down Again; Markets Fall Anyway

U.S. corn and soybean conditions continued to decline last week despite rainfall in some of the drier areas of the main growing belt as extreme heat stressed crops in a large part of the western Corn Belt. 

Despite the lower ratings, corn and soybean futures sold off on Tuesday as traders eyed wetter weather forecasts for the growing belt and large old-crop stocks.   

USDA rated U.S. corn conditions 62% good/excellent as of Sunday, down 2 percentage points from a week earlier and 1 point below the average of trade expectations in a Reuters News Service. The portion of the crop rated poor/very poor rose to 11% from 10% a week earlier. 

The U.S. soybean crop rating came in at only 57% good/excellent, down 4 points from a week earlier and 3 points below the average of trade expectations. The poor/very poor rating for the crop rose 3 points to 14%. 

Looking at the top producing states, the good/excellent rating for corn crop in the top growing state of Iowa was down another 3 percentage points to 68%, while the good/excellent rating for the Nebraska crop was down 4 points to 61%. However, the good/excellent ratings for the Illinois and Minnesota corn crops were each up 1 point at 63% and 80% respectively. 

The portion of the U.S. crop said to be silking was 67%, up from 40% a week earlier, but slightly behind the 5-year average of 69%. Last week’s heat wave came at a critical time for the Iowa corn crop when much of the crop was pollinating. The portion of the Iowa crop that was silking as of Sunday was 74% double a week earlier and ahead of the average pace of 69%. 

The good/excellent rating for the soybean crop in the No. 2 producing state of Illinois plunged 8 percentage points on the week to 59%. The portion of the Nebraska crop rated good/excellent fell 4 points to 59%, while the good/excellent rating for the Iowa crop was down 1 point to 62% and the Minnesota crop rating held steady at 72% good/excellent.

USDA estimated 29% of the U.S. soybean crop was setting pods as of Sunday, up from 16% a week earlier and ahead of the five-year average of 27%.