U.S. corn and soybean conditions deteriorated more than expected last week as drought conditions continued to plague crops in western and northern portions of the Midwest growing belt.

The USDA rated U.S. corn conditions 58% good/excellent as of Sunday, compared with 62% good/excellent a week earlier and 56% at the same time last year. The grain trade had been expecting the rating to come in steady to two percentage points lower.

U.S. soybean conditions were also rated 58% good/excellent by USDA, down from 61% good/excellent a week earlier, but still above the 53% recorded a year earlier. Grain traders had anticipated the ratings would be steady to two percentage points lower.

Crop ratings continued to nosedive in Minnesota due to drought conditions there. The good/excellent rating for Minnesota corn fell to only 30% from 40% a week earlier, while the state’s soybean crop rating fell to 38% good/excellent from a previous reading of 48%. Minnesota soil moisture was rated 78% short/very short.

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.