The 2020 crop growing season got off to a faster-than-normal start, and quality ratings have held strong for the most part this spring.
USDA’s latest crop progress report, covering the week through June 21, showed 72% of the corn crop is rated in good-to-excellent condition, picking up a point versus the prior week. Soybean crop quality moved in the other direction after getting docked two points last week, but still is holding relatively strong, with 70% rated in good-to-excellent condition.
Our readers have seen similar but slightly lower crop quality so far this season. A limited number of respondents allowed Farm Futures to launch its 2020 series of weekly “Feedback From The Field” updates. (Note: This is a nonscientific poll and should be treated as anecdotal, but it generally becomes more accurate as more participants weigh in – click here to take the latest survey.)
Survey respondents indicated nearly 68% of their corn crop was in good-to-excellent condition. Another 20% was rated fair, with the remaining 11% rated poor or very poor.
Even farmers who have excellent crop conditions understand the fragility of current quality if weather isn’t cooperative. “We will need some rain in the next week,” admits one Ohio respondent.
Another respondent from Iowa said crop quality was good but added they are “dry at this time.”
Soybean crop quality among respondents was also lower than USDA’s latest data, with just 62.5% rated in good-to-excellent condition. Another 30% of the crop is rated fair, with the remaining 7.5% rated poor or very poor.
Some respondents have reported multiple issues emerging that they must tackle.
“Early dryness, emergence, population, and chemical volatility are all issues,” notes one Nebraska farmer who rates their crop fair for now.
“Could use some rain,” echoed a Minnesota farmer, who said their corn would also benefit from extra moisture – “a good rain, and it would take off and even up.”
Farmers thirsty for more rainfall may get their wish heading into July – NOAA’s latest 8-to-14-day outlook predicts wetter-than-average conditions for most of the central U.S. between June 30 and July 6. Drought has been slowly creeping into the Midwest in recent weeks, with 19.3% of the region now affected, per the latest updates from the U.S. Drought Monitor.