Corn emergence is inching closer to completion according to today’s USDA weekly progress report of the 18 primary producing states. Last week saw, 6% of the entire corn crop emerge, bringing the total emerged crop to 97%. This compares to a five-year historical average and 2010 estimate of 99% and 100%, respectively. Pennsylvania remains the biggest laggard with only 76% of its crop emerged compared to a five-year average of 92%.
Over the last seven days warm weather and timely rainfall has improved the condition of the corn crop, and the percentage of crop rated good or excellent increased one percentage point to 70%. However, the percentage of crop rated poor or very poor increased one percentage point to 7%. For the same time period in 2010 75% of the corn crop was in good or excellent condition, 18% was in fair condition, and 7% was in poor or very poor condition.
Of the 18 primary soybean producing states, 94% of soybeans have been planted and 82% have emerged. The five-year historical average is 93% planted and 86% emerged. For this week last year, 93% of the soybean crop had been planted and 87% had emerged. The USDA also showed that 68% of the soybean crop was rated good or excellent, up from 67% last week, but still below the 69% registered a year ago.
The planting of the 2011 spring wheat crop increased to 91% this past week, but is still considerably behind the five-year historical average and 2010 estimate of 100%. Above average precipitation has also placed spring wheat emergence behind schedule. The USDA estimates that 83% of the crop has emerged; compared to a five-year historical average and 2010 estimate of 99%. The report also showed that 72% of the spring wheat crop was rated good or excellent, up from 68% last week, but still below the 84% registered a year ago.
Lower than expected yields coupled with favorable weather conditions have afforded farmers to harvest winter wheat at a record pace. The USDA reported harvested winter wheat estimates this week at 31% of the total crop, compared to a five-year average and 2010 estimates of 22% and 17%, respectively. There was little improvement in the condition of the winter wheat crop, 36% of the crop is in good or excellent condition, while 41% is in poor or very poor condition. Last year, 65% of the crop was in good or excellent condition while only 9% was in poor or very poor condition. The percent of headed winter wheat for this year’s crop was at 90% this week, which is one percentage point lower than 2010 and four percentage points lower than the five-year historical average of 94% for the week.
July contracts for corn, soybeans and wheat all traded lower after last week’s surprising Crop Progress Report. Corn prices decreased 10% over the past week to close at $7.01 per bushel, soybeans also trended lower to close at $13.39 per bushel, and wheat fell 11% to $6.59. However, corn, soybean and wheat prices are still sharply higher compared to this time last year - 95%, 34%, and 43%, respectively.
Next week we will have our first look at the USDA corn crop silking estimates, along with the usual estimates as provided in this report.
Link to USDA Report here.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.