The following commentary does not necessarily reflect the views of AgWeb or Farm Journal Media. The opinions expressed below are the author's own.
Marc Schober is the editor of Farmland Forecast an educational blog devoted to investments in agriculture and farmland.
This afternoon, the USDA released its weekly crop progress report. The corn harvest is 10% complete which is on pace with the 11% 5-year historical average. The USDA estimated 51% of the corn crop is in good or excellent condition, down 2% from last week. The estimate for corn condition in very poor or poor condition increased to 21%, compared to 20% last week. Last year at this time, 11% of the crop was in very poor or poor condition while 68% was in good or excellent condition.
This week the USDA estimated that 92% of the corn crop was dented while 97% was last year in the third week of September; the 5-year historical average is 91%. Out of the entire corn crop, 46% was considered mature by the USDA this week, 29% was mature last week, 67% was mature last year, and the 5-year historical average is 48% in the third week of September.
Of the 18 primary soybean producing states, 18% of the soybean crop is in poor or very poor condition while 53% is in good or excellent condition, which is well off 2010 estimates of 12% and 63% for the third week in September. The USDA estimated that 33% of soybeans were dropping leaves by this week, which is again severely lagging the 5-year historical average of 47% for the third week of September.
The spring wheat harvest is slightly ahead of historical averages with 93% of the harvest complete so far. The 5-year historical average is that 92% of the spring wheat crop has been harvested by this week in September.
Corn prices decreased by 6.1% over the past week ending at $6.92 per bushel, soybeans were down 3.8% to $13.36 per bushel, and wheat ended the week down 3.9% closing at $6.73 per bushel. Year-over-year corn prices are up 36.0%, soybeans are up 27.0%, and wheat is up 4.6%.
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