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Summary

  • Fall frost remains the final major threat to corn and soybean crops whose conditions remain at 20-year highs.
  • Corn conditions were estimated by the USDA at 74% in “Good” or “Excellent” condition, a 1% increase from last week and an 8% increase from last year.
  • Soybean conditions were reported as 72% of the crop in “Good” or “Excellent” condition, a 2% increase from last week and an 18% increase from last year.

Fall frost remains the final major threat to corn and soybean crops whose conditions remain at 20-year highs. Farmers at the Farm Progress Show noted excellent growing conditions present this farming season, but some were not as confident in the forecasts of record production as the USDA.

Many farmers raised concern over the interior of their plots, as airplane and drone views have shown trouble spots not visible from the road. Others were concerned over soybean Sudden Death Syndrome (SDS), which is common when temperatures are below average as they have been throughout this year.

Corn conditions were estimated by the USDA at 74% in "Good" or "Excellent" condition, a 1% increase from last week and an 8% increase from last year. 19% was considered "Fair," a 1% decrease 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 30%, followed by Iowa and Indiana with 25% and 22% respectively.

Corn doughing was reported at 90%, a 7% increase from last week and 1% ahead of the five-year average. Corn dented was reported at 53%, an 18% increase from the previous week, but 6% behind the five-year average. Mature corn was estimated by the USDA for the first time this week. 8% of the corn was deemed mature, 4% ahead of this time last year, but 8% behind the five year average. Of the five largest corn producing states, Indiana and Nebraska reported the most mature corn both with 8%, Minnesota was the least with 0% mature.

Soybean conditions were reported as 72% of the crop in "Good" or "Excellent" condition, a 2% increase from last week and an 18% increase from last year. 22% was reported in "Fair" condition, a 1% decrease from last week, while only 6% was reported as "Poor" or "Very Poor." Of the five largest soybean producing states, Illinois and Iowa had the most crop rated "Excellent," both at 23%.

Soybeans setting pods were reported at 95%, a 5% increase from last week and even with the five-year average. Nebraska had the most soybeans setting pods at 95% and Minnesota had the least at 92%. The USDA reported soybeans dropping leaves for the first time this week. 5% of the U.S. soybean crop was reported at the leaf dropping stage, 2% ahead of this time last year, but 2% behind the five-year average. Of the five largest soybean producing states, Indiana had the most soybeans dropping leaves with 10%, both Iowa and Minnesota reported 0%.

Spring wheat conditions were estimated with 63% of the crop in "Good" or "Excellent" condition, a 3% decrease from last week and a 7% decrease from last year. 29% was reported in "Fair" condition, a 1% increase from last week, while only 8% was reported as "Poor" or "Very Poor." Spring wheat harvest was reported at 38% complete, an 11% increase from the previous week, but 27% behind the five-year average.

September futures for corn closed the week at $3.55 per bushel, a 1.4% decrease from last week. August soybeans ended the week at $10.97, a 2.5% decrease from last week. September wheat ended the week at $5.43, a 0.2% increase from last week. Year-to-year corn prices are down 28.7%, soybeans are down 23.6%, and wheat is down 14.6%.

Source: Crop Conditions End August At 20-Year Highs