U.S. corn and soybean conditions deteriorated for the third week in a row last week as slight improvement in crops in key areas of the western Corn Belt was not enough to offset drought stress in dry areas in the eastern and southern Midwest from Missouri through Indiana.
Monday’s weekly crop update from USDA rated U.S. corn conditions at 56% good/excellent as of Sunday, down 7 points from a week earlier and 12 points from a year earlier. The percentage of the crop rated poor/very poor rose to 14% from 9% a week earlier and a year earlier.
U.S. soybean conditions were rated 53% good/excellent, down 3 points from a week earlier and 12 points from a year earlier, while the portion of the crop rated poor/very poor rose to 15%, up 3 points from a week earlier and up 8 points from a year earlier.
Crop development continued to speed along well ahead of normal with 10% of the corn crop estimated to be silking versus a five-year average of 3% and 12% of the soybean crop said to be blooming against an average of 4%.
The worst crop deterioration was again in Indiana, Illinois and Kentucky, where soil moisture is now critically short. The good/excellent rating for the Illinois corn crop fell by 12 percentage points to 35%, while the portion of the Indiana crop rated good/excellent fell by 8 points to only 24%.
The percentage of the Illinois crop rated poor/very poor rose 7 points to 21%, while the portion of the Indiana crop rated poor/very poor jumped 10 points to 36%.
Topsoil moisture was rated short/very short across 84% of Illinois, with subsoil moisture short/very short across 86% of the crop. In Indiana, topsoil moisture was rated short/very short across 91% of the state, with subsoil moisture rated short/very short across 87% of the state.
The poor conditions in the eastern Midwest were partly offset by a slight improvement in crop conditions in the top growing state of Iowa and in Minnesota, which received beneficial rains.
Iowa corn conditions as of Sunday were rated 68% good/excellent up from 67% a week earlier, while Iowa soybean conditions were rated 63% good/excellent, up from 61% a week earlier. Minnesota corn conditions were rated 83% good/excellent, up 1 point from a week earlier, with the state’s soybean crop rated 74% good/excellent, up from 73% previously.
However, corn and soybean conditions deteriorated in the western growing states of Nebraska, South Dakota and Kansas.
Editor’s note: Richard Brock, Corn & Soybean Digest's marketing editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.