US Corn, Soybean Condition Holding Up Well. Better Weather Forecast Sent Futures Lower.

There were no major surprises in the condition of the US corn and soybean crops this past week, although the USDA failed to confirm ideas nationwide ratings could dip.

Monday’s USDA crop progress report showed the nationwide corn crop at 61% good to excellent as of Sunday, steady compared to last week and a mild surprise with pre-report trade ideas calling for a small step down. At 60% good to excellent, the condition of the soybean crop improved a single point on the week, which ran counter to trade expectations for a small decline.

Compared to one year ago, the condition of the US soybean crop was the same, while the corn crop was 1 point below.

In the No. 1 production state of Iowa, the condition of the corn crop was 76% good to excellent while the soybean crop was 73%. Illinois corn rated 74% good to excellent, with soybeans were 68%.

The Michigan corn crop came in at 64% good to excellent, while soybeans were at 56%. At 56% and 54% good to excellent, the Ohio corn and soybean crops were improved from last week respectively. After a shaky start, the North Dakota corn crop was rated a healthy 79% good to excellent as of Sunday, and soybeans were at 63%.

Across the country, the corn crop is tasselling and is well into the important yield-determining stage. 80% of the corn crop was silking as of Sunday, up from 62% a week earlier and now only slightly behind 85% on average.

Nationally, 26% of the corn crop had reached the dough stage of development as of Sunday, up from 13% a week earlier and slightly shy of the average of 31%.

For soybeans, the crop is only just entering its most critical podding phase. 79% of the American crop was blooming as of Sunday, up from 64% the previous week and only slightly behind 80% on average.

An estimated 44% of the US soy crop was setting pods as of Sunday, up from 26% a week earlier but also behind the average of 51%.

Weather still holds the hammer. Rain sent corn and soybean futures lower Monday.

If the steady US crop rating for corn and the slightly higher rating for soybeans noted above can be considered mildly negative for futures, the weather forecast is a more important bearish factor in the mix.

Weather forecasts released today call for temperatures in the Midwest to ease over the next few days. Rain is expected to shrink excessively dry areas for corn and soybeans to 25-30% by Friday, according to a report from a major brokerage firm, down from roughly 35% at present.

The more crop-friendly outlook sent futures lower. Dec corn ended Monday at US$6.09 3/4. That was still well above its recent low of $5.61 3/4 but was down 10 1/4 cents on the day.

Nov soybeans fared worse, plunging 62 1/2 cents to $14.06. It ended off its low for the day and is still well above the low of $12.88 1/2. Even so, today’s drop is a reminder of what timely rain in key states such as Iowa and Illinois can do this time of year.

Source: DePutter Publishing Ltd.

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