Corn, Soybean Ratings Deteriorate

U.S. corn and soybean conditions deteriorated noticeably last week as dry weather stressed fields across western and central parts of the Midwest growing belt, while crops continued to struggle due to wet conditions in parts of the eastern Midwest.

USDA rated U.S. corn conditions 63% good/excellent as of Sunday, down from 68% a week earlier, but above the 58% rating reported a year earlier.

The good/excellent ratings for corn fell by 8 percentage points in each of the top producing states of Iowa and Illinois to 68% and 63% respectively.

Moisture concerns are heightening in the western Corn Belt as the pollination period nears. Cooler than normal temperatures helped crops last week, but more rainfall is desperately needed with hot weather moving in.

Last week was the driest week for Iowa since May and the tenth consecutive week of drier-than-normal weather, according to the Iowa Agricultural Statistics Service. Much of the state received little to no rainfall, while isolated areas of east-central Iowa got too much moisture.

Corn development remained slightly ahead of normal as of Sunday with 23% of the U.S. crop reported silking versus a five-year average of 20%.

Development is generally ahead of normal across the western Corn Belt, while the crop continues to lag a bit in the eastern Belt after a cool, wet spring.

USDA rated U.S. soybean conditions 58% good/excellent, down from 64% a week earlier, but above the 54% rating reported a year earlier.

Iowa soybean conditions declined to 65% good/excellent from 73% a week earlier, while Illinois conditions fell to 57% good/excellent, from 65% previously.

Soybean development is running ahead of normal with 38% of the U.S. crop said to be blooming, versus a five-year average of 10%.

Some 7% of the crop is already setting pods, compared with an average pace of 4%.

The notable exception to the fast development pace is the state of Indiana, where 12% of the soybean crop was reported blooming, versus a five-year average of 27%.

Editors 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

http://www.brockreport.com/brockreport.