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Crop Update: Market is in Big Crop Mode

On the heels of last week’s annual Pro Farmer Crop Tour and stable to better condition ratings, the December corn futures contract has fallen below $3.50/bu. November soybeans also are well below the levels they attained early in the growing season, but at $9.39, are actually a bit above the $9.21 seen on August 16.

Pro Farmer’s tour stressed the more-than-usual variability in crop condition and yield estimates from field to field and even within fields. But in the end, a national corn yield of 167.1 bu./acre is estimated. That’s 1.5 percent below USDA’s August estimate of 169.5 bu. and down 4.3 percent from last year’s yield of 174.6 bu.

State crop tour results:

 

2017 Crop Tour

USDA August

Difference (percent)

Iowa

183

188.0

-3

Nebraska

180.5

183.0

-1.4

South Dakota

138

140.0

1.4

Minnesota

184

183.0

0

Illinois

181

188.0

-3.7

Indiana

171

173.0

-1

Ohio

163

171.0

-4.7

 

These estimates are made with corn maturity still a little behind average: Eighty-six percent is in the dough stage, compared with an 87 percent average; 44 percent denting, compared with 51 percent average and 6 percent mature versus 10 percent average.

USDA’s Crop Progress report on Monday left the 18-state ratings unchanged, with 62 percent good/excellent and 12 percent poor/very poor. However, South Dakota finally saw an improvement, opening the door to a possible bump in the state’s crop: Twenty-four percent poor/very poor, down from 27 percent, and 46 percent good/excellent, up from 42 percent.

Soybeans

Pro Farmer put the national soybean yield at 48.5 bu./acre, 2.8  percent below USDA’s August estimate of 49.4 and down 7.1 percent from 52.2 in 2016.

 

2017 Crop Tour

USDA August

Difference (percent)

Iowa

53.5

56

-4.5

Nebraska

56.5

58

-2.6

South Dakota

40.5

41

-1.2

Minnesota

48.5

49

-1

Illinois

55.5

58

-4.3

Indiana

54.5

55

-1

Ohio

53

53

0

 

With 93 percent of soybeans setting pods and 6 percent dropping leaves – each 1 percentage point ahead of average – USDA reported a slight improvement in the condition of the 18-state crop. The low end lost one point and the top end of the range gained one point, putting 11 percent poor/very poor and 61 percent good/excellent.

Weather

Overall, long range outlooks from the Climate Prediction Center offer little hope of notable improvement in the South Dakota crops. However, most of the Corn Belt has much greater than normal chances for below average temperatures through September 11. Conditions appears likely to be dry into the Ohio River Valley, then neutral chances of higher or lower than normal rain as far as the Smokey and Appalachian mountains.

Three-month outlooks reflect warmer than usual temperatures for September-November and neutral precipitation outlook except for the South, where odds favor rain and harvest of what promises to be bumper crops could run into delays.

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