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USDA crop progress: Soybean quality tilts lower

Corn quality holds steady for week ending July 4

Ben Potter, Senior editor

July 6, 2021

2 Min Read
7-06-21 drough stressed soybeans GettyImages-695065124.jpg

The latest USDA crop progress report was delayed a day due to the federal observance of Independence Day on Monday. Was this week’s report worth the extra wait? Arguably not – there weren’t many significant surprises that will move the needle on grain prices very much in either direction. Corn quality held steady, with soybean quality facing a one-point dip. The biggest shocker was spring wheat conditions, which suffered another four-point drop from a week ago.

Corn quality remained largely steady, with 64% rated in good-to-excellent condition through Sunday, mirroring analyst expectations. However, 27% of the crop is rated fair (down a point from last week), with the remaining 9% rated poor or very poor (up a point from last week). State-by-state variability is still considerable, ranging from Ohio (85% rated G/E) down to South Dakota (24% rated G/E).

Physiologically, 10% of the crop has reached the silking stage, up from 4% a week ago and slightly ahead of 2020’s pace of 9% but down from the prior five-year average of 14%.

Soybean quality dropped a point, with 59% of the crop now rated in good-to-excellent condition. Analysts were expecting USDA to leave ratings unchanged, in contrast. Another 30% of the crop is rated fair (down a point from last week), with the remaining 11% rated poor or very poor (up two points from last week).

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Physiologically, 29% of the crop is blooming, up from the prior weeks’ mark of 14% and moving along moderately faster than the prior five-year average of 24%. And 3% is setting pods, which is identical to the prior five-year average.

Winter wheat also dropped a point lower, with 47% rated in good-to-excellent condition. Analysts were expecting USDA to leave quality ratings unchanged. Another 30% is rated fair (down a point from a week ago), with the remaining 23% rated poor or very poor (up two points from last week).

Harvest continues to see some forward momentum, moving from 33% completion a week ago up to 45% through Sunday. That’s a more sluggish pace than 54% in 2020 and the prior five-year average of 53%. Three of the top 18 production states – Michigan, Montana and Washington – haven’t made any measurable harvest progress yet, according to USDA.

Analysts expected to see another one-point drop for spring wheat ratings, but USDA trimmed ratings four points lower, with just 16% of the crop now rated in good-to-excellent condition. Another 34% is rated fair (down seven points from last week), with the remaining 40% rated poor or very poor (up 11 points from last week).

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Physiologically, 69% of the crop is headed, up from 48% a week ago and faster than both 2020’s pace of 59% and the prior five-year average of 62%.

Click here to read the latest USDA crop progress report for additional information on cotton, rice, peanuts, sorghum, sunflowers and more.
 

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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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