The Midwest reported below average precipitation for the month of July, a crucial time for the development and maturity of the corn crop. Despite very little rain the crop continues to be rated at a high percentage in "Good" or "Excellent" condition by the USDA. The inflated conditions and estimates of a large corn and soybean crop have continued to put pressure on grain prices.
The USDA corn conditions were estimated 73% in "Good" or "Excellent" condition, down 2% from last week, but a 9% increase from last year. 30% was considered "Fair," up 1% from last week, while only 7% was considered "Poor" or "Very Poor." Of the Corn Belt states, Illinois had the most corn rated "Excellent" at 29%, followed by Iowa and Indiana with 25% and 23% respectively. Corn silking was reported at 90%, a 12% increase from last week and 2% ahead of the five-year average. Corn doughing was reported at 36%, a 19% increase from last week and 7% ahead of the five-year average.
Soybean conditions were reported with 71% of the crop in "Good" or "Excellent" condition, unchanged from last week, but a 7% increase from last year. 23% was reported in "Fair" condition, unchanged from the previous week, while only 6% was reported as "Poor" or "Very Poor." Of the five largest soybean producing states, Illinois had the most crop rated "Excellent" with 21%, followed by Iowa with 20%. Soybeans blooming were reported at 85% this week, up 9% from last week, and 2% ahead of the five-year average. Soybeans setting pods were reported at 57%, a 19% increase from last week and 7% ahead of the five-year average. Of the five largest soybean producing states Indiana and Nebraska had the most soybeans setting pods, both at 68%.
The winter wheat crop was reported 90% harvested, up 7% from last week, and 5% ahead of the five-year average. Northern wheat states of Idaho and Montana are 21% and 22%, ahead of their five-year harvest averages.
September futures for corn closed the week at $3.58 per bushel, a 2.5% decrease from last week. August soybeans ended the week at $12.32, a 0.3% decrease from last week. September wheat ended the week at $5.44, a 1.9% increase from last week. Year-to-year corn prices are down 23.7%, soybeans are down 7.3%, and wheat is down 15.7%.
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