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Farmland Forecast

RSS By: Marc Schober,

Marc Schober is the editor of Farmland Forecast an educational blog devoted to investments in agriculture and farmland.

Crop Progress: Healthy Crops and Healthy Prices

Oct 13, 2010

Yesterday afternoon, the USDA released its weekly crop progress report. The corn crop condition improved by two percent over the past week, and now is only 2% shy of last year’s condition at this point in the season. The soybean crop condition did not change compared to last week’s report. The USDA estimated 68% of the corn crop is in good or excellent condition, while 11% is in poor or very poor condition. During this week in 2009, 70% of the crop was in good or excellent condition and 9% was in poor or very poor condition.

This week, the USDA estimated that 98% of the corn crop was considered mature. 93% was mature last week, and the 5-year historical average is 89% in the second week in October. Corn harvest made its way past the midpoint this week with 51% of the crop already harvested. Last week, 37% had been harvested while the 5-year historical average is only 30% by this week.

Of the 18 primary soybean producing states, the USDA estimated that 95% of soybeans were dropping leaves this week. Last week it was estimated that 88% were dropping leaves, while the 5-year historical average is 93% in the second week in October. Soybean harvest is well ahead of schedule with 67% of the crop already harvested. Last week 37% was harvested and the 5-year historical average for the week is 48%.

The 2011 winter wheat crop is on par with historical averages with 70% planted by this week. The 5-year historical average is 68% planted by this week in October. The winter wheat crop is emerging on schedule as well. Both the 5-year historical average and USDA weekly estimate are 38% of the crop emerging this week.

A dramatic WASDE Report, revealing extremely low ending stocks sent corn prices sky high over the past week. Other grains followed the trend due to the threat of lower planted acres if farmers choose to plant more corn next year and take advantage of the elevated prices. Corn jumped up 17.9% over the past week ending at $5.79 per bushel, soybeans were also up 10.0% to $11.78 per bushel, and wheat also ended the week up 7.0%, closing at $7.10 per bushel. Year-over-year corn prices are up 51.9%, soybeans are up 18.0%, and wheat is up 43.7%.

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