Evening Report (VIP) -- August 19, 2013

August 19, 2013 10:30 AM
 

PRELIMINARY DAY 1 CROP TOUR OBSERVATIONS... The eastern leg of the 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour began in Columbus, Ohio, with scouts traveling to Fishers, Indiana. The western leg began in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, with scouts traveling to Grand Island, Nebraska. Final results for Ohio and South Dakota will be released on www.profarmer.com tonight. Following are preliminary route reports from Tour leaders.

Western Tour Leader and Pro Farmer Editor Chip Flory has sampled in the South Dakota counties of Minnehaha, McCook and Hanson in district 6 and Hutchinson, Turner and Yankton in district 9. Flory has crossed the border into Nebraska district 3. He reports a range of corn yields from 131.4 bu. per acre to 214 bu. Per acre and an average of 167.6 bu. Per acre so far today. He says the biggest problem for the crop is maturity, as he's seen crops ranging from late-milk stage to early dough. "My goodness, this crop will need all of September and a few days of October to make it to full maturity, which is possible, but it has a lot of work to do," he says.

Flory also notes irrigated fields on his route today were a disappointment, as they looked better from the road due to some pollination troubles.

Soybean pod counts on Flory's morning route in a 3'X3' square have ranged from 635 to 1,495, with an average of 971 pods. He says pod counts improved as he has headed south in Nebraska, but the same holds true for the maturity of the crop.

Western Tour Consultant Jason Franck has pulled samples in the South Dakota counties of McCook, Miner, Sanborn and Davison in district 6 and Hutchinson, Douglas and Bon Homme in district 9. He has just entered into Nebraska. He reports yields ranging 123.9 bu. Per acre to 191.1 bu. Per acre, with an average of 149 bu. Per acre.

Franck says he ran into some good-looking corn in the southern part of South Dakota as he reached the Nebraska border, but he says he is also seeing nitrogen deficiency issues as the lower part of the plant is starting to burn up. He reports ear size is up from last year, but the biggest concern is maturity, as crop is in milk to dough stage. "So, the corn crop has a long way to go to maturity. I am seeing drought stress, but the cool weather is really slowing things today. The next six weeks are really important for this crop maturity-wise," Franck says.

Soybean pod counts on Franck's route in a 3'X3' square have ranged 682 to 1,880 in South Dakota, with an average of 1,119 pods. He reports pod counts are rising as he enters Nebraska, but the better-looking fields have more two-bean pods than three-bean pods. The biggest concern for soybean yield potential is also maturity, he says. "We're seeing good plant health and bean height is pretty average, but like corn, the soybean crop needs more time to maximize yield potential," he says.

Eastern Tour Leader and Pro Farmer Senior Market Analyst Brian Grete has sampled in the Ohio counties of Morrow in district 5, Wyandot in district 2 and Hancock, Putnam and Paulding in district 1. He reports a corn yields have ranged 141.9 bu. to 214.7 bu. per acre, with an average of 169.4 bushels. Grete says most yields are coming in around the 170-bu. area, as he's seen a uniform crop. He says yield potential is very good, but not quite as good as he expected. "This is a good crop for this area, but nothing eye popping," he said, noting he's looking forward to hearing route reports from out scouts tonight to get a better feel for Ohio yield potential.

Grete says maturity isn't an issue, as most of the crop is in the dough stage and should make it to maturity with no difficulties.

Soybean pod counts in a 3'X3' square have ranged 541 to 1,620 on Grete's route this morning, with an average of 1,083 pods. He reports solid yield potential, with plenty of plump pods. But he notes that bean pod counts are difficult to judge from the road, as some of the better-looking fields were on the low end of his route range. But with no major disease or insect pressure, Grete says the crop health is solid. Of more concern is rain over the near-term, as he reports soils are becoming drier as he nears the Indiana border.

Eastern Tour Consultant Mark Bernard has sampled in the Ohio counties of Delaware and Marion in district 5, Wyandot in district 2, Hardin in district 4 and Allen, Putnam and Paulding in district 1. He reports a corn yield range of 113.5 bu. to 236.6 bu. per acre, with an average this morning of 189.7 bushels. "I've seen a uniform crop today with yields mostly around the 200 bu. mark," he reports. "The crop maturity on most of this is moving right along, with a fair amount denting. All of the crop is in at least the dough stage so I'm not worried about maturity."

But Bernard says both the corn and soybean crops need a rain, as they are showing signs of stress due to recent dryness and corn ears could begin to express more tipback.

Soybean pod counts in a 3'X3' square have ranged 360 to 1,549 on Bernard's route this morning, with an average of 1,030 pods. "Pod counts are more variable than the corn yield potential due to more variable planting dates," he reports. "You could see it on the end rows, where beans are short due to too much water at the start of the season that delayed planting. But overall, bean plant health is okay. I don't have any major disease or insect pressure to report, but some pods are coming off plants due to too much moisture stress," Bernard says.

See full coverage of the 2013 Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour online. You can also take your own field measurements and participate in Pro Farmer's Virtual Crop Tour online.

 

CORN CROP CONDITION DECLINES MORE THAN EXPECTED... USDA reports 61% of the U.S. corn crop is rated "good" to "excellent," a three-percentage-point decline from last week. Traders expected a one-point drop from last week. USDA rates 26% of the crop in "fair" shape, with 13% rated "poor" to "very poor."

Corn

very poor

poor

fair

good

excellent

This week

4

9

26

44

17

Last week

3

8

25

46

18

Year-ago

26

25

26

20

3

 

As of Sunday, USDA reports 52% of the crop is in dough, which compares to 32% last week and 65% on average. Illinois is at 70% (78% average); Indiana is at 56% (67% average); Iowa is at just 24% (60% average); Minnesota is at 27% (47% average); Nebraska is at 69% (78% average) and Ohio is at 68% (65% average).

USDA reports 11% of the crop has dented, which compares to 5% last week and 30% on average.

 

SOYBEAN CONDITION RATINGS SLIP... USDA reports the condition of the soybean crop declined slightly more than expected. Traders expected a one-percentage-point decline in crop rated "good" to "excellent" and USDA lowered this rating by two points to 62%. USDA rates 28% of the crop "fair," with 10% rated "poor" to "very poor."

Soybeans

very poor

poor

fair

good

excellent

This week

2

8

28

48

14

Last week

2

7

27

50

14

Year-ago

16

21

32

27

4

 

As of Sunday, USDA reports 72% of the crop was setting pods, which compares to 58% last week and 81% on average. Illinois is at 76% (80% average); Indiana is at 79% (75% average); Iowa is at 71% (89% average); Minnesota is at 72% (87% average); Nebraska is at 88% (86% average); and Ohio is at 82% (equal to average).

 

COTTON CROP CONDITION IMPROVES... In a surprising move, USDA raised the condition of the cotton crop from last week, with 46% rated "good" to "excellent" -- a three-percentage-point increase. USDA rates 31% "fair," with 23% rated "poor" to "very poor."

Cotton

very poor

poor

fair

good

excellent

This week

9

14

31

37

9

Last week

10

15

32

34

9

Year-ago

11

19

29

31

10

 

USDA reports as of Sunday that 85% of the crop was setting bolls, which compares to 73% last week and 89% on average. Arizona is at 95% (94% average) and Texas is at 83% (85% average). Meanwhile, USDA reports 8% of the crop has bolls opening, which compares to 14% on average. Arizona is at 34% (36% average) and Texas is at 12% (16% average).

 

HEAT TO BUILD ACROSS CORN BELT... Corn and soybean futures were supported today by concerns about building heat across the Corn Belt. With no meaningful rains in the near-term forecast, traders look for corn and soybean crops to deteriorate during their critical grain-filling stage.

Meteorologist Gail Martell of MartellCropProjections.com says rains so far in August have been sparse in the two leading corn and soybean states of Iowa and Illinois. "Also very dry in August are Wisconsin, North Dakota, Missouri and upper Minnesota, which places roughly 40% of U.S. soybeans at risk for a reduced yield," she says.

Martell says after weeks of coolness, the weather pattern is turning hotter. "The jet stream would build up a warm, stable ridge of high pressure over the heartland, ratcheting up temperatures in the central United States. Moderate temperatures, mid 80s today, would give way to upper 80s to low 90°s F by Wednesday in Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Illinois and Wisconsin," she adds. Click here for related maps.

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