Corn, Soybean Ratings Nosedive.

USDA pegged corn conditions at only 42% good/excellent as of Sunday, down 7 percentage points from a week earlier and 17 points from a year earlier. The portion of the crop rated poor/very poor rose to 25%, up 7 points from a week earlier.

Soybean conditions were also put at 43% good/excellent, down 7 points from a week earlier and 12 points from a year earlier. The portion of the crop rated poor/very poor rose to 22%, up 6 points from a week earlier.

The key Illinois corn crop is now rated only 35% good/excellent and 24% poor/very poor. Illinois soybeans are also rated only 35% good/excellent and are 22% poor/very poor.

Conditions are better in Iowa, where some areas have had timely rain, but even there crops continue to deteriorate. The good/excellent rating for Iowa corn fell 2 points to 59%, while the good/excellent rating for soybeans fell 5 points to 60%.

Conditions for both crop are worst at the eastern and western edges of the production belt.

A continued lack of rain along with 100-degree temperatures has left Nebraska corn rated 34% poor/very poor and only 31% good/excellent. With 63% of the crop there now silked, the potential for recovery is limited.

Nebraska soybean ratings are even worse at 49% poor/very poor and only 16% good/excellent. That crop still has time to recover, but some fields are already done.

Corn conditions are worst in South Dakota, where 43% of the crop is rated poor/very poor and only 23% good/excellent.

On the other end of the Corn Belt, Ohio crop ratings plunged last week with 41% of the state's corn now rated poor/very poor, up from 22% a week earlier. Ohio soybeans are rated 35% poor/very poor and only 22% good/excellent.

Editors note: Richard Brock, 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.