USDA Weekly Crop Progress - Corn, Soybean Condition Down 1 Percentage Point

OMAHA (DTN) -- Good-to-excellent condition ratings for both U.S. corn and soybeans slipped slightly last week, according to the latest USDA NASS Crop Progress report released Monday.

As of Sunday, Aug. 18, the U.S. corn crop was rated 56% in good-to-excellent condition, down 1 percentage from 57% the previous week. That compares to last year's 68% and is the lowest good-to-excellent rating for this time of year in seven years. The crop's poor-to-very-poor rating category gained 1 percentage point to reach 14%.

"States with the worst good-to-excellent ratings are Indiana, Ohio and Missouri, while among major states, Nebraska had the best rating at 74% good to excellent," said DTN Senior Analyst Dana Mantini. "Traders were expecting a rise of 1-2 percentage points in the overall good-to-excellent rating."

Corn development remained behind its average pace last week. Ninety-five percent of the crop was silking, 5 percentage points behind the five-year average of 97%. Corn in the dough stage was estimated at 55%, up 16 percentage points from 39% the previous week but 21 percentage points behind the five-year average of 76%. That was little improvement from last Monday's report when corn in the dough stage was running 22 percentage points behind the average.

"Only 18% of North Dakota is in the dough stage versus an average of 58%," Mantini said. "Illinois, Indiana and Ohio are each 33 points behind the average."

Corn dented was 15%, behind last year's 41% and 15 percentage points behind the five-year average of 30%.

Like corn, the condition of the soybean crop also fell 1 percentage point last week, from 54% good to excellent the previous week to 53% as of Sunday. That compares to the five-year average of 66%, and also remains the lowest rating since 2012.

"States with the worst soybean ratings are Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. Nebraska is once again the best rated at 72% good to excellent," Mantini said. "Traders were expecting a gain of 1 to 2 percentage points in the good-to-excellent category."

The portion of the soybean crop that was blooming was 90%, 6 percentage points behind the five-year average of 96%. That was an improvement from last Monday's report when blooming was running 11 percentage points behind average. Soybeans setting pods reached 68% as of Sunday, 17 percentage points behind the average pace of 85%. That was also an improvement from last week's report, when soybeans setting pods were estimated at 22 percentage points behind the average pace.

"States the most behind in soybeans setting pods are Indiana, Michigan, South Dakota and Ohio," Mantini said.

Winter wheat harvest crept ahead another 4 percentage points last week to reach 93% complete as of Sunday, behind last year's 97% and 5 percentage points behind the five-year average of 98%.

"Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington are the slowest in wheat harvest progress," Mantini said. "Nebraska is 96% done while South Dakota is 76% harvested."

Spring wheat harvest progress was up 8 percentage points from the previous week to reach 16% as of Sunday, well behind last year's 56% and 33 percentage points behind the five-year average of 49%. That was further behind normal than in last Monday's report when harvest was 22 percentage points behind average.

Spring wheat condition -- for the portion of the crop still in the field -- was estimated at 70% good to excellent, up 1 percentage point from 69% the previous week. Last year's rating at the same time was 74% good to excellent.

"Minnesota's and North Dakota's spring wheat ratings remained at 83% and 71% good to excellent, respectively," Mantini said.

Sorghum heading reached 75% as of Sunday, behind the five-year average of 83%. Sorghum coloring was estimated at 31%, behind the average of 43%. Sorghum mature was estimated at 21%, behind the average of 26%. Sorghum condition was rated 65% good to excellent, down 1 percentage point from 66% the previous week. Oats were 60% harvested, behind the average of 78%.

Cotton setting bolls was 85%, equal to the five-year average. Cotton bolls opening was at 24%, ahead of the average of 13%. Cotton condition was rated 49% good to excellent, down 7 percentage points from 56% the previous week. Rice headed was pegged at 88%, behind the average of 93%. Rice harvested was 10%, slightly behind the average of 13%. Rice condition was rated 68% good to excellent, down 2 percentage points from 70% the previous week.

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