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Crop progress: Corn quality holds steady

Soybean quality eases a point lower for the week ending July 23.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

July 24, 2023

2 Min Read
Corn silking
Getty Images

Ahead of USDA’s latest crop progress report, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through July 23, analysts were expecting to see small improvements in corn quality and stabilized soybean quality. But USDA offered no changes to corn quality and docked soybean quality by a point. The winter wheat harvest continues to move forward at a slower-than-expected clip, meantime.

Corn quality ratings were unchanged last week, with 57% of the crop in good-to-excellent condition as of Sunday. Another 30% is rated fair, with the remaining 13% rated poor or very poor – also unchanged from a week ago. State-by-state ratings range from Missouri (27% G/E) to North Carolina (79% G/E).

Physiologically, 68% of the crop is now silking, up from 47% a week ago and a bit ahead of the prior five-year average of 65%. And 16% has reached the dough stage, up from 7% a week ago and also faster than the prior five-year average of 14%.

Soybean quality ratings tracked a point lower last week, with 54% of the crop now in good-to-excellent condition. Another 32% is rated fair (steady from last week), with the remaining 14% rated poor or very poor (up a point from last week). Mexico (79% G/E) leads the way among the top 18 production states so far.

Physiologically, 70% of the crop is now blooming, up from 56% last week. And 35% is now setting pods, up from 20% last week. Both categories are trending above their respective five-year averages.

Spring wheat quality ratings faded another two points lower, with less than half (49%) of the crop now in good-to-excellent condition. Another 35% is rated fair (unchanged from last week), with the remaining 16% rated poor or very poor (up two points from last week). Nearly all (94%) of the crop is now headed, which is slightly faster than the prior five-year average of 93%.

Analysts were expecting to see winter wheat harvest progress at 70% through Sunday, but USDA only reported 68% completion. That was a decent push forward from the prior week’s tally of 56% but still moderately behind both 2022’s pace of 76% and the prior five-year average of 77%.

Click here to read more highlights from the latest UDSA crop progress report, including a state-by-state look at pasture and rangeland conditions.

Read more about:

Crop Progress

About the Author(s)

Ben Potter

Senior editor, Farm Futures

Senior Editor Ben Potter brings two decades of professional agricultural communications and journalism experience to Farm Futures. He began working in the industry in the highly specific world of southern row crop production. Since that time, he has expanded his knowledge to cover a broad range of topics relevant to agriculture, including agronomy, machinery, technology, business, marketing, politics and weather. He has won several writing awards from the American Agricultural Editors Association, most recently on two features about drones and farmers who operate distilleries as a side business. Ben is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

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