CORN: USDA reported 64% of the nation’s crop to be in good to excellent condition as of July 4, the same as the week prior as the crop stabilized after a week of less stressful growing conditions.
Conditions remain variable across the country, though. Only 62% of Iowa’s corn crop – the largest state for corn production in the country – is in good to excellent condition. But conditions in other top corn producing states are somewhat better (Illinois – 65% good to excellent, Nebraska – 82% good to excellent).Markets are now largely trading on yield potential, and despite favorable planting weather, USDA estimates 2021 corn at 92.7 million acres and soybean at 87.6 million acres.
Soybeans are king in North Dakota this year – North Dakota soybean acreage is 25% higher than last year and is the fourth highest in the United States, behind No. 1 Illinois, No. 2 Kansas and No. 3, Minnesota. Soybean development rates are largely ahead of historical averages already due in large part to fast planting speeds and drought conditions this spring. For the week ending July 4, 29% of anticipated 2021 soybean acres were blooming and another 3% were setting pods. Blooming progress was 5% ahead of the five-year average while pod progress was in line with the five-year benchmark.
Soybean conditions across the country slipped 1% from the previous week to 59% good to excellent for the week ending July 4. Market analysts had predicted conditions would largely remain stable compared to the week prior so yesterday’s ratings slide came as a shock to overnight markets. Even with recent rains, the soybean crop appears to be struggling with dry conditions slightly more than the 2021 corn crop.
Rain showers in the Southern Plains last week kept many winter wheat farmers out of their fields last week, as harvest progress fell 8% below the five-year average. As of July 4, 45% of the nation’s 2021 winter wheat crop had been harvested, up 12% from the previous week.
More showers this week across the country could further delay harvest for both the hard and soft red winter wheat crops in the Midwest and Plains. According to U.S. Wheat Associates, harvest progress for soft red winter wheat is nearly 60% complete while hard red winter wheat harvest is just over 20% complete as of last Friday.
Condition ratings for the spring wheat crop continued to tumble as hot temperatures roasted any hopes for average yields across the Northern Plains. Ratings fell 4% on the week with only 16% of the crop in good to excellent condition.