August 15, 2017
While USDA forecast better than expected corn and soybean yields last week, the latest Crop Progress report out Monday afternoon still doesn’t point to bin busting production this year.
Crop ratings were mixed, which could provide at least a measure of support for bulls hoping the summer rally isn’t history.
USDA rated 59% of the soybean crop nationwide in good or excellent condition, down 1% from the previous week. Steady to lower conditions were noted in much of the growing region outside the central Midwest from Wisconsin to Illinois, Indiana and Kentucky.
The most notable decline in soybeans came in Iowa, where our model put yields down 1.2 bushels per acre. Losses were also seen in the western Midwest, and from the Delta into the Southeast and eastern Midwest.
Our models based on ratings cut nationwide soybean yield potential by .15 bushels per acre, with the average at 47.75 bpa. USDA put the average U.S. yield at 49.4 bpa, which would generate a record crop due to a large increase in seedings this year.
Corn fields in Iowa also lost ground in the latest ratings, where our estimate fell by 4 bpa to 178.8 bpa. USDA was nearly 10 bpa higher in last week’s estimate, but Vegetation Health Index maps showed stress increasing in parts of the state missed by showers.
Iowa was the exception, not the rule in corn last week. Overall Vegetation Health Index scores improved. Though states in the eastern part of the growing region from Michigan to North Carolina declined, USDA said the percentage of the crop rated good to excellent was up 2% to 62%. Our models based on ratings put the nationwide corn yield at 166.2 bpa in a range from 165.5 to 166.9. USDA’s initial yield in last’s week’s production report was 169.5 bpa.
Spring wheat conditions were mixed this week. The percentage of the crop rated good or excellent was up 1%, but more was also reported in very poor shape too. That left our overall rating slightly lower, with yield potential down fractionally. Out models put the average spring wheat yield at 36.5 bpa, in a range from 35.7 to 37.2. USDA had the yield at 38.3 bpa in last week’s production estimate.
Wheat harvest remains ahead of normal, with 97% of winter wheat crop and 40% of spring wheat in. Corn development is still a little slow. USDA reported 16% of the crop dented, down from 20% on average. Soybeans are ahead; 79% of the crop is setting pods, up 4% from the five-year average.
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