For the second straight week, analysts expected USDA to hold corn and soybean quality ratings steady when it released its latest batch of crop progress data Monday afternoon. The agency complied with corn ratings, but soybean quality firmed once more this past week.
Corn quality ratings remained stable from a week ago, with 72% of the crop rated in good-to-excellent condition. Another 21% of the crop is rated fair, with the remaining 7% rated poor or very poor – all unchanged from last week. State-by-state ratings continue to vary widely, ranging from Ohio (43%) on the low end all the way up to South Dakota (86%).
Physiologically, nearly all of this year’s crop (92%) has made it to the silking stage, up from 82% a week ago. That’s very favorable to 2019’s pace of 72% and also ahead of the prior five-year average of 87%. Nearly 4 of every 10 acres is now at dough stage (39%), up from 22% last week and moderately ahead of the prior five-year average of 33%.
Analysts thought USDA would hold soybean quality ratings steady this week, with 72% of the crop rated in good-to-excellent condition, but the agency bumped ratings up another point to 73%. Another 21% of the crop is rated fair (down a point from last week), with the remaining 6% rated poor or very poor (unchanged from last week).
Most of the crop is now blooming, with 85% now at that production stage compared to 76% last week. The crop is maturing much faster than 2019’s pace of 68% and is also ahead of the prior five-year average of 82%. More than half of the crop (59%) is now setting pods, versus 43% a week ago. That’s nearly double the pace of 2019 (32%) and still ahead of the prior five-year average of 54%.
Spring wheat quality ratings moved three points higher, with 83% of the crop now rated in good-to-excellent condition. Another 22% is rated fair (down two points from last week), with the remaining 5% rated poor or very poor (down one point from last week).
Spring wheat harvest is moving sluggishly so far, moving from 1% complete last week up to 5% through August 2. The prior five-year average doubles that pace, at 10%.
Winter wheat harvest also made little headway this past week, moving from 81% complete the prior week up to 85%. While that’s faster than 2019’s pace of 80%, it’s a bit behind the prior five-year average of 88%. USDA marked 8 of the top 18 production states as having concluded their harvest.
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