USDA Weekly Crop Progress Report - Corn 71% Good to Excellent; Soybeans 74% Good to Excellent

OMAHA (DTN) -- Declines in Iowa's and South Dakota's corn condition ratings dragged down corn's national good-to-excellent rating slightly last week, USDA NASS said in its weekly Crop Progress report on Monday.

NASS estimated that 71% of the nation's corn crop was in good-to-excellent condition as of Sunday, Aug. 9, down 1 percentage point from 72% the previous week but tied for the third-highest rating in 10 years.

"A 4-point drop in Iowa and a 3-point drop in South Dakota helped pull this week's national good-to-excellent corn rating down 1 percentage point from last week," said DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman. "The highest good-to-excellent ratings were seen in Kentucky, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin -- all in the 80s."

Corn silking reached 97% as of Sunday, 2 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 95%. Corn in the dough stage jumped ahead 20 percentage points to reach 59%, 7 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 52%. Corn dented was estimated at 11%, near the average of 12%.

While corn condition declined last week, soybean conditions continued to improve. NASS estimated that 74% of the nation's soybean crop was in good-to-excellent condition as of Aug. 9, up 1 percentage point from 73% the previous week. That is the highest national good-to-excellent rating for soybeans in at least 10 years for a second consecutive week, Hultman noted.

"Several soybean states posted small gains in ratings, which outweighed a 3-point drop in Iowa," Hultman said. "South Dakota and Minnesota had two of the higher ratings, at 85% and 84%, respectively."

As with the corn, soybean development continued to run slightly ahead of the average pace last week. Soybeans blooming was estimated at 92%, 3 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 89%. The portion of the crop setting pods was estimated at 75%, 7 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 68%.

Winter wheat harvest moved ahead another 5 percentage points last week to reach 90% complete as of Sunday. That remained 3 percentage points behind the five-year average of 93%.

"Oregon, at 77% complete, Washington at 55%, Montana at 45% and Idaho at 35% are the slowest," said DTN Senior Analyst Dana Mantini. "South Dakota is 95% done."

Meanwhile, spring wheat harvest picked up speed last week, moving ahead 10 percentage points to reach 15% complete as of Sunday. That was ahead of 6% at the same time last year but 10 percentage points behind the five-year average of 25%.

"South Dakota spring wheat harvest was leading the pack at 59% complete -- just ahead of its 56% average pace and up 24 points from last week," Mantini said. "Minnesota is 19% harvested, while North Dakota is just 7% done."

"Sixty-nine percent of the spring wheat crop was rated in good-to-excellent condition, down 4 points from the previous week, with the very-poor-to-poor category up 2 percentage points," Mantini said. "Key states Minnesota and North Dakota were 75% and 63% good to excellent, respectively. North Dakota fell 5 percentage points from last week. U.S. spring wheat ratings have now fallen 14 points from early June in the good-to-excellent category."

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