Grain prices continue to fall as the outlook for the 2014 crop continually improves due to favorable weather. The major corn and soybean growing areas of the U.S. received anywhere from 2-8 inches of rain last week. Analysts continue to forecast high planted corn acres due to the lack of farmers following through on switching to soybeans over feared planting delays. Drier weather quickly allowed farmers to make up for late planting.
The USDA estimated corn emergence at 92%, a 12% increase from last week and 2% ahead of the five-year average. In speaking with farmers around the Corn Belt, despite earlier concerns of northern corn acres switching to soybeans, most were able to get their corn planted with very few having to switch any of their acres. Corn conditions remain extremely positive, with 75% of the crop rated "Good" or "Excellent" compared to 63% at this time last year. 21% was considered "Fair," while 4% was considered "Poor" or "Very Poor." Severe weather peppered parts of Iowa and Nebraska with hail last week, impacting corn conditions in those areas. Strong winds were reported in areas of Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Nebraska last week, although winds did not impact conditions due to how short the crop was.
Soybean planting continues to progress with 87% of acres estimated planted, a 9% increase from last week and a 6% increase from the five-year average. Well ahead of last year's planting season, farmers continue to project finishing the soybean planting before the June 15th final crop insurance planting day. Soybean emergence was reported at 71%, a 21% increase from last week and 9% ahead of the five-year average. Soybean conditions were reported for the first time this week. 74% of the crop is considered to be in "Good" or "Excellent" condition, with only 4% reported as "Poor" or "Very Poor."
The winter wheat crop was reported at 86% headed, a 7% increase from last week and 1% ahead of the five-year average. Harvesting began last week, but was slowed by rain. 9% was reported harvested, down 3% from the five-year average. There were no changes in the conditions report for wheat.
July futures for corn closed the week at $4.51 per bushel, a 3.0% decrease from last week. July soybeans ended the week at $14.56, a 2.9% decrease from last week, and July wheat ended the week at $6.14, a 1.0% decrease from last week. Year-to-year corn prices are down 30.6%, soybeans are down 3.6%, and wheat is down 10.9%.
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