USDA crop progress: Corn quality is still eroding
Soybean quality ratings also move lower for the week ending September 6.
Ben Potter, NebraskaFarmer
Sep 08, 2020
Corn and soybean crop quality has been steadily moving lower over the past several weeks, and USDA’s latest batch of crop progress data, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through September 6, shows that trend unfolding once again.
Corn quality fell another point to land at 61% rated in good-to-excellent condition, matching analyst expectations. Another 25% is rated fair (up one point from last week), with the remaining 14% rated poor or very poor (unchanged from last week). Drought-hit Colorado and Iowa (which was also slammed with violent storms in mid-August) have the highest percentage of corn rated poor or very poor, with 39% and 26%, respectively, falling into that category.
Physiologically, the crop is inching closer to harvest. Ninety-seven percent is now at dough stage, up slightly from the prior five-year average of 94%. Seventy-nine percent is now dented, which is moderately ahead of the prior five-year average of 71%. And one-quarter of the crop is now fully mature, up from last week’s mark of 12% and above the prior five-year average of 19%.
Analysts anticipated a two-point drop in soybean quality ratings, but USDA’s latest data only confirmed a one-point drop, with 65% now rated in good-to-excellent condition. Another 25% of the crop is rated fair (up one point from last week), with the remaining 10% rated poor or very poor (unchanged from a week ago). Kentucky (86%), Wisconsin (81%) and Minnesota (79%) have the best overall good-to-excellent ratings so far.
Twenty percent of the crop is now dropping leaves, up from 8% a week ago. That’s well above 2019’s pace of 7% and still moderately ahead of the prior five-year average of 16%...