USDA’s latest weekly crop progress report, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through June 13, showed declining quality ratings for both corn and soybeans. That was largely expected by analysts, who continue to monitor widespread hot, dry weather that has been stressing crops and depleting topsoil moisture in recent weeks. But USDA ended up slashing quality ratings for corn and soybeans even more aggressively than the trade anticipated.
Corn quality ratings tumbled another four points lower, with 68% of the crop now rated in good-to-excellent condition through Sunday. The average trade guess was slightly higher, at 69%. Another 27% of the crop is rated fair (up four points from last week), with the remaining 5% rated poor or very poor (unchanged from a week ago).
Physiologically, 96% of this year’s corn crop is now emerged, up from 90% a week ago. That’s also slightly favorable to 2020’s pace of 94% and moderately ahead of the prior five-year average of 91%.
Soybean planting progress reached 94% through Sunday, up from 90% a week earlier but a point slower than the average trade guess of 95%. That’s still well above the prior five-year average of 88%, however. Emergence is at 86%, also very favorable compared to the prior five-year average of 74%.
Soybean quality ratings stumbled significantly, dropping five points from a week ago to 62% rated in good-to-excellent condition. Analysts were only expecting a two-point drop, in contrast. Another 30% of the crop is rated fair (up three points from last week), with the remaining 8% rated poor or very poor (up two points from a week ago).
Quality ratings also declined two points for the 2020/21 winter wheat crop, despite analysts expecting to see those numbers hold steady week-over-week. Through Sunday, 48% of the crop is rated in good-to-excellent condition. Another 32% is rated fair (unchanged from last week), with the remaining 20% rated poor or very poor (up two points from last week).
The winter wheat harvest is only at 4%, meantime, up from 2% a week ago but falling further behind 2020’s pace of 14% and the prior five-year average of 15%. Nearly all (92%) of the crop is now headed, which matches the prior five-year average.
Spring wheat quality ratings slipped a point lower, with 37% rated in good-to-excellent condition. Analysts were expecting to see a two-point decline. Ninety-six percent of the crop is now emerged, with 8% now headed.
Click here to read the latest USDA crop progress report for additional information on cotton, rice, peanuts, sorghum, sunflowers and more.