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.
Yesterday afternoon, the USDA released its weekly crop progress report. Progress in soybean planting is wrapping up across the 18 primary producing states. During the last week, 4% of the entire soybean crop was planted; bringing the total planted crop at 97%, which is equivalent to the 5 year historical average in similar time periods. The 2009 estimate at this week was 95%.
The condition of the corn crop again fell slightly over the past week. The USDA estimated 73% of the corn crop is in good or excellent condition, while 8% is in poor or very poor condition. Last week 75% was in good or excellent condition while only 7% was in poor or very poor condition. During this week in 2009, 72% of the crop was in good or excellent condition and 7% was in poor or very poor condition. This week, 7% of the corn crop is silking, according to USDA estimates, while only 4% was last year by this week and 5% in 2009.
Of the 18 primary soybean producing states, 93% of the soybeans have emerged. The 5 year historical average is also 93%. By this week last year, only 87% of the soybean crop had emerged. This week soybeans again worsened slightly in condition. 9% of the soybean crop was in poor or very poor condition while 67% was in good or excellent condition. Last week only 8% was in poor or very poor condition and 69% of the crop was in good or excellent condition. The USDA included an estimate of soybean blooming this week as well. 9% of the crop is blooming, while the estimate for this week in 2009 was 8%.
The winter and spring wheat crops are still in good condition, compared to last year’s crop. In the 18 primary producing states of winter wheat, 64% of the crop is in good or excellent condition while only 10% is in poor or very poor condition. Last year, 45% of the crop was in the good or excellent condition and 28% was in poor or very poor condition. In the 6 primary producing states of spring wheat, 84% of the crop is in good or excellent condition this year compared to only 76% last year. This year 2% of the spring wheat crop is in poor or very poor condition while 6% was last year.
Corn prices decreased 4.7% over the past week ending at $3.44 per bushel and soybeans were also down 3.6% to $9.57 per bushel. Year-over-year corn prices are down 11.6% and soybeans are off 25.5%. We will be watching for the USDA Planted Acres report on Wednesday to see if grain prices will react positively.