As most of the Corn Belt comes out of pollination, it looks like much of this year's corn crop may have escaped the extreme heat that the market and farmers feared.
According to USDA's Crop Progress report released Monday, crop conditions for both corn and soybean crops are looking good. Joe Vaclavik of Standard Grain says that could point to bigger yields in 2016 than farmers saw last year.
"The big difference between this year and last year is what's going on in the eastern Corn Belt,” Vaclavik explains. “The [crop condition] ratings are sharply higher in places like Illinois, Indiana and into Ohio for both corn and soybeans.”
Vaclavik says crop conditions are 20% to 30% better in the good-to-excellent category in some of those states than they were last year, which could lead to a bumper crop.
“Last year, we had a corn yield of 168.4 (bushels per acre) and (soybean yield) of 48 bushels per acre,” he says. “You've got to assume at this point that we could be looking at some numbers even higher than those numbers based on crop ratings.”
He says a lot of analysts are starting to think USDA will likely raise yield forecasts in its August 12 report.