June 21, 2021
The Midwest and Plains have seen plenty of hot, dry weather so far this month, and USDA’s latest crop progress report, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through June 21, is the latest evidence that conditions have been hard on crop quality this season. Corn ratings fell another three points week-over-week, with soybean conditions eroding another two points lower. Spring wheat ratings were hit especially hard, tumbling another ten points lower.
Through June 20, USDA rated 65% of this year’s corn crop in good-to-excellent condition, down from 68% a week ago. Analysts were expecting to see a two-point drop this past week. Another 29% of the crop is rated fair (up two points from last week), with the remaining 6% rated poor or very poor (up a point from a week ago).
Soybean quality ratings also fell two points lower this past week, which was in line with analyst expectations. Through Sunday, 60% of the crop was rated in good-to-excellent condition. Another 31% is rated fair (up a point from last week), with the remaining 9% rated poor or very poor (also up a point from a week ago).
Planting progress is now at 97% among the top 18 production states, up from 94% a week ago and ahead of the prior five-year average of 94%. And 91% of the crop is now emerged, versus the prior five-year average of 85%. Five percent of the crop is now blooming, with southern states leading the way in this maturity category.
Analysts expected to see steady quality ratings for winter wheat, but USDA marked conditions a point higher, with 49% rated in good-to-excellent condition. Another 31% of the crop is rated fair (down a point from last week), with the remaining 20% rated poor or very poor (unchanged from a week ago).
Physiologically, nearly all (96%) of the crop is headed, up from 92% a week ago and identical to the prior five-year average. Harvest is at 17%, up from 4% a week ago but moderately behind the prior five-year average of 26%.
Spring wheat quality ratings got hammered this past week, losing ten points to 27% rated in good-to-excellent condition, dropping even further behind year-over-year ratings of 75%. Another 36% is rated fair (unchanged from last week), with the remaining 37% rated poor or very poor (up ten points from a week ago).
The crop nears full maturity, meantime, with 27% now headed. That’s up from 8% a week ago and well above the prior five-year average of 18%.
Click here to read the latest USDA crop progress report for additional information on cotton, rice, peanuts, sorghum, sunflowers and more.
About the Author(s)
Senior editor, Farm Futures
Senior Editor Ben Potter brings more than 14 years 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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