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USDA crop progress: Corn quality firms two points

Getty Images/Oleg Elkov Ear of corn with silk
Soybean quality holds steady from a week ago

The latest set of crop progress data from USDA, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through August 8, held some unexpectedly bullish data – especially for corn quality, which improved two points despite analyst expectations that it would remain unchanged this week. Spring wheat conditions also moved a point higher, while soybean quality held steady.

Corn quality firmed two points higher this past week, with 64% of the crop now rated in good-to-excellent condition. Analysts thought USDA would hold those ratings steady at 62%, in contrast. Another 25% of the crop is rated fair (down two points from last week), with the remaining 11% rated poor or very poor (unchanged from a week ago).

Physiologically, USDA provided updates on three crop stages:

  1. Silking is at 95% (up from 91% last week)
  2. Dough stage is at 56% (up from 38% last week)
  3. Dented is at 8% (N/A last week)

Soybean ratings held steady from a week ago, with 60% of the crop rated in good-to-excellent condition through Sunday. Another 27% is rated fair (down a point from last week), with the remaining 13% rated poor or very poor (up a point from last week).

Physiologically, nearly all (91%) of the crop is now blooming, up from 86% a week ago and still ahead of the prior five-year average of 89%. And 72% is now setting pods, up from 58% last week and also ahead of the prior five-year average of 68%.

Spring wheat crop quality improved a point, but only 11% is rated in good-to-excellent condition. Another 28% is rated fair (up two points from last week), with the remaining 61% rated poor or very poor (down three points from a week ago). Harvest moved to 17% complete a week ago up to 38% through Sunday. Minnesota has made the most progress among the top six production states, at 76% complete.

Winter wheat harvest is inching toward completion, moving from 91% complete a week ago up to 95%. That’s moderately faster than 2020’s pace of 89% and the prior five-year average of 91%.

Click here to read the latest USDA crop progress report for additional information on cotton, rice, peanuts, sorghum, sunflowers and more.

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