Farm Futures logo

USDA crop progress: Corn quality drops again

Soybean quality also erodes for the second consecutive week.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

August 23, 2021

2 Min Read
Closeup of corn cob in late summer ready for harvest

For the second straight week, USDA noted lower crop quality for both corn and soybeans. Corn faced a two-point spill for the week ending Aug. 22, with soybeans fading another point lower. Maturity for both crops is very close to the prior five-year average, meantime, while the spring wheat harvest is progressing more quickly than it has in recent years.

Corn quality dropped another two points last week, with 60% of the crop now rated in good-to-excellent condition. Analysts only expected to see a one-point drop. For the rest of the crop, 26% is rated fair (up a point from last week), with the remaining 14% rated poor or very poor (also up a point from last week).

Physiologically, 85% of this year’s corn crop has made it to the dough stage, up from 73% a week ago and faster than the prior five-year average of 81%. Forty-one percent of the crop is now dented, up from 22% last week and also faster than the prior five-year average of 38%. And 4% is fully mature, which mirrors the prior five-year average.

Soybean conditions eased a point lower, matching analyst expectations of seeing 56% of the crop rated in good-to-excellent condition. Another 28% is rated fair (unchanged from last week), with the remaining 16% rated poor or very poor (up a point from last week).

USDA is currently monitoring three maturity phases for soybeans:

  • 97% of the crop is blooming

  • 88% of the crop is setting pods

  • 3% of the crop is dropping leaves

All three categories are identical or slightly ahead of the prior five-year average.

This season’s embattled spring wheat crop is racing to a finish, with 77% of harvest completed through Sunday. That’s up from 58% a week ago and well ahead of the prior five-year average of 55%. It also outpaced analyst expectations, with the average trade guess coming in at 74%.

Read the latest USDA crop progress report for additional information on cotton, rice, sorghum, oats, barley and more.

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.

Subscribe to receive top agriculture news
Be informed daily with these free e-newsletters

You May Also Like