USDA Crop Progress - Corn, Soybean Progress Still Running Ahead of Normal

OMAHA (DTN) -- U.S. corn and soybeans still appear to be on pace for what could be an earlier-than-normal harvest, according to the USDA National Ag Statistics Service's weekly Crop Progress report released Monday.

NASS estimated that 85% of corn was in the dough stage as of Sunday, Aug. 20, 13 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 72%. Forty-four percent of corn was dented, 18 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 26%. Meanwhile, 91% of soybeans were estimated to be setting pods, 8 percentage points ahead of the average of 83%.

Good-to-excellent ratings for both corn and soybeans fell again slightly last week. Nationwide, 68% of corn was rated good to excellent as of Sunday, down 2 percentage point from 70% the previous week. Soybean condition also dropped slightly to 65% good to excellent last week, down 1 percentage point from 66% the previous week.

"The good-to-excellent crop ratings for corn and soybeans were both a little lower and close to ratings seen in 2015, but prices may not show much response with rain on the weather map and USDA's Aug. 10 crop estimates regarded as better estimates," said DTN Analyst Todd Hultman. In 2015, corn yielded 168.4 bushels per acre and soybeans yielded 48.0 bpa, according to USDA.

Winter wheat harvest had nearly wrapped up by the end of last week, with 97% of the crop estimated as harvested, near 98% for both last year and the five-year average.

Spring wheat harvest was 60% complete as of Sunday, ahead of last year's 55% and also ahead of the five-year average of 44%.

"The dry conditions in the Northwestern U.S. don’t show much impact on USDA's good-to-excellent crop rating for spring wheat, which was down 1 point this week to 74%," Hultman said.

Sorghum was 87% headed as of Sunday, ahead of the five-year average of 83%. Sorghum coloring was 46%, also ahead of the five-year average of 43%. Sorghum mature was estimated at 23%, behind 25% at the same time and also behind the five-year average of 27%. Sorghum condition was rated 49%, unchanged from the previous week.

Barley was 66% harvested as of Sunday, near 67% last year but ahead of the average of 56%. Barley condition was rated 78% good to excellent, down 3 percentage points from 81% the previous week. Oats were 80% harvested as of Sunday, ahead of 76% for last year and also ahead of the five-year average of 77%.

Rice was 95% headed as of Sunday, equal to last year but ahead of the average of 91%. Fifteen percent of rice was harvested, slightly ahead of the average pace of 13%. Cotton was 86% setting bolls, equal to the average pace. Seventeen percent of cotton had bolls opening, ahead of the average of 12%. Cotton's good-to-excellent condition rating, at 42%, was up 2 percentage points from the previous week's 40%. Rice's good-to-excellent rating, at 73%, was up 4 percentage points from the previous week's 69%.

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