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Crop progress: Soybean quality shoots unexpectedly higher

Corn quality also exceeds analyst expectations this past week.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

August 14, 2023

2 Min Read
soybean pods
Getty Images

After another week of relatively mild and wet weather last week, analysts expected USDA to show improved corn and soybean quality ratings in its latest crop progress report, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through August 13. The agency certainly came through after corn ratings improved by two points and soybean ratings climbed five points higher. Spring wheat quality ratings also gathered a one-point improvement this past week.

Corn quality shifted two points higher, which was better than the average trade expectation of a one-point improvement. Through Sunday, 59% of the crop is now in good-to-excellent condition. Another 28% is rated fair (down one point from last week), with the remaining 13% rated poor or very poor (also down one point from last week).

Physiologically, 96% of the crop is now silking, which mirrors the prior five-year average. Nearly two-thirds (65%) has reached the dough stage, and 18% is now dented.

Analysts were expecting to see a one-point improvement in soybean quality, but ratings were boosted by five points, with 59% of the crop now in good-to-excellent condition. Another 29% of the crop is rated fair (down three points from last week), with the remaining 12% rated poor or very poor (down two points from last week).

Physiologically, 94% of the crop is now blooming, up from 90% a week ago and modestly ahead of the prior five-year average of 92%. And 78% of the crop is now setting pods, up from 66% a week ago and faster than the prior five-year average of 75%.

Spring wheat quality is also on the upward swing, trending one point higher last week. Forty-two percent of the crop is now rated in good-to-excellent condition. Another 38% is rated fair (down one point from last week), with the remaining 20% rated poor or very poor (unchanged from last week).

Harvest progress moved from 11% complete last week up to 24% through Sunday. That’s faster than 2022’s pace of 15% but behind the prior five-year average of 28%.

The 2022/23 winter wheat harvest is nearly complete, with progress of 92% as of August 13. That’s a bit faster than last year’s pace of 89% and identical to the prior five-year average.

Click here for 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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