Farmers, businesses and traders will have their eyes on the markets this week because USDA will release its updated Crop Progress report on Monday.
USDA says corn planting is mostly done and 72% of the crop is reported good to excellent, up 1% from last week and above last year. Soybeans are now 96% planted, 3% above the 5-year-average. Also, 70% of what’s planted is rated good to excellent. It’s a little worse than last week.
Pro Farmer reports better rains this week and more into the weekend should push USDA crop ratings higher on Monday. Forecasts signaled fewer chances for a blocking ridge to develop over the Midwest after rains later this week. Dryness may remain a minor concern in the west-central and southwestern Plains.
“This crop is looking very, very good right now,” says Jim McCormick, hedging strategist with AgMarket.net. “July is usually a make-or-break time for the crop. There’s still weather which could have an interesting impact.”
However, it’s no surprise weather may be the biggest factor of all in the markets during this time of year.
Despite some rain falling in the Southern Plains, the latest U.S. Drought Monitor does not show much improvement.
“When you think about what this map had on it three months ago, there was not nearly as much of a the yellow and orange [areas] showing up here,” says AgDay meteorologist Mike Hoffman.
The Midwest experienced some heavy precipitation since the last drought monitor was released
but many of those soakers missed areas in the Eastern Corn Belt that are now sliding into abnormally dry conditions.
“Despite rain in my parts of Indiana and southern Illinois, those areas got drier since last week,” says Hoffman. “We will have to see how that works in the long run.”
USDA meteorologist Brad Rippey believes “favorable weather” of timely rains and little extreme heat may stick around for a while in most of the Corn Belt, especially to the East.
“It does look like we are transitioning into a some-what wetter weather pattern over the next 10 days or more,” says Brad Rippey, USDA meteorologist. “We should see pretty wide-spread midwestern rain fall totals over the next 10 days on the order of one to three inches or more.”
USDA will also unveil a slew of reports Tuesday, which could be another market mover.
“If I’m looking at which one is more friendly with stocks, use and all of that, the beans are definitely a more positive story,” says McCormick. “The carryout is dropping compared to where we were a year ago.”
The department’s Grain Stocks and Acreage reports will be released Tuesday at noon.