The overall condition ratings for the U.S. corn and soybean crops declined again last week despite favorable rains across a large portion of the Midwest as crops in northern growing states remained under moisture stress.

USDA rated U.S. corn conditions 62% good/excellent as of Sunday, down from 64% a week earlier, but up from 59% a year earlier. The portion of the crop rated poor/very poor rose 1 point to 13%. U.S. soybean conditions were rated 61% good/excellent, down from 62% a week earlier, but above the year-earlier rating of 54%.

Crop development remained well ahead of the normal pace, with USDA reporting that 76% of the U.S. corn crop had silked by Sunday, compared with a five-year average of 62%. Meanwhile, 75% of the U.S. soybean crop was blooming versus an average of 67%; 30% of the crop was setting pods against an average of 24%.

Condition ratings for the top corn- and soybean-producing states of Illinois and Iowa were stable to higher after those states received beneficial rainfall. Illinois corn was rated 81% good/excellent up from 79% a week earlier, while the state’s soybean crop improved to 79% good/excellent from 77%. Iowa’s corn conditions held steady at 63% good/excellent while the state’s soybean crop rating rose to 68% good/excellent from 65%.

Minnesota remained the primary trouble spot for corn and soybean production prospects. The Minnesota corn crop rating took another dive to 40% good/excellent from 50% last week, while the good/excellent rating for Minnesota soybeans fell 5 points to 48%. Minnesota topsoil moisture was rated 72% short/very short.

The sharpest ratings declines were in Wisconsin, where corn conditions dived to 51% good/excellent from 68% a week earlier and soybean conditions plunged to 51% good/excellent from 70%. Wisconsin soil moisture was rated 80% short/very short. Corn and soybean conditions also continued to deteriorate in Ohio and Michigan.

Editor’s note: Richard Brock, The Corn And Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.