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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: Corn Silking Slowly Continues, Soybean Condition Better Than Last Year

Jul 12, 2011

According to today’s USDA weekly progress report of the 18 primary corn producing states, the percentage of the corn crop rated good or excellent remained unchanged over this past week. The percentage of crop rated poor or very poor remained the same at 9%, while the percentage of crop rated fair decreased to 22%. Condition ratings remain behind the 2010 crop, as 73% of the corn crop was in good or excellent condition, 18% was in fair condition, and 9% was in poor or very poor condition.

The USDA estimates that for the week ending July 10th, 14% of the 2011 corn crop has silked compared to estimates of 36% and 26% for the 2010 crop and 5 year historical average respectively. In 2010, each of the 18 primary producing states reported silking progress, while only 15 states have reported progress to date. Texas is the only state whose corn crop is ahead of its five year average and 2010 pace at nearly 81% silked.

Of the 18 primary soybean producing states, crop conditions remain unchanged with 66% of the crop rated good or excellent, 26% fair, and 8% poor or very poor. Compared to last year 65% was rated good or excellent, 24% was rated fair, and 11% was rated poor or very poor. The 2011 soybean crop continues to slowly improve, with the percentage of the crop rated excellent increasing one percentage point compared to last week.

The USDA estimates that 21% of the soybean crop has bloomed, compared to 38% last year, and a 5 year historical average of 33%. For the week ending July 10th, each of the primary soybean producing states is behind their five year average and 2010 blooming pace.

Progress in the winter wheat harvest slowed over the past week, with harvest concluding in North Carolina and only beginning in Michigan. The USDA reports harvested winter wheat estimates for the week ending July 10th, at 63% of the total crop, compared to a 5 year average and 2010 estimate of 63% and 62% respectively. Because of the progress of the crop, conditions and heading were removed from this week’s USDA report.

The USDA estimates that 98% of the spring wheat crop has emerged; compared to a 5 year historical average and 2010 estimate of 100%. The report also showed that 73% of the spring wheat crop was rated good or excellent, up from 70% last week, but still below the 83% registered a year ago. Headed spring wheat, is also lagging its five year average and 2010 performance. The USDA reported that only 27% of the crop has headed compared to 68% for the same period in 2010 and a 5 year historical average of 73%. Delays in the spring wheat crop are still linked to the cool/wet spring experienced by the major spring wheat growing areas.

Volatility in the nearby contracts for corn, soybeans, and wheat has remained since the USDA’s June 30th stocks and plantings report. We expect this to continue until the USDA reissues their planting report in early August. Corn prices decreased by $0.05 over the past week to close at $6.79 per bushel, soybeans increased $0.21 to close at $13.51 per bushel, and wheat may be finding a base it increased 3% to $6.32. However, corn, soybean, and wheat prices all remain higher than they were this time last year, 87%, 40%, and 30% respectively.

Next week we look forward to the USDA’s continued maturity reports for corn, soybeans, and spring wheat along with estimates of harvest progression for winter wheat.

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