USDA report shows weakened crop conditions

By Sarah Gonzalez

© Copyright Agri-Pulse Communications, Inc.

WASHINGTON, July 9, 2012- Widespread drought across the Midwest is weakening the nation's crop condition, as illustrated by the USDA's Crop Progress report this week. For example, 30 percent of the corn crop from the group of the highest producing 18 states is in poor to very poor condition, up eight percent from last year. Last year at this time, only nine percent of the corn crop was in poor or very poor condition. 

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According to USDA's weekly crop progress report, 40 percent of the corn crop is now rated good to excellent, down from 48 percent a week ago. One year ago, 69 percent of the crop was rated good to excellent.

Similarly for soybeans, 40 percent of the crop is rated good to excellent, down from 45 percent a week ago and 66 percent of soybeans in good to excellent condition one year ago.

This week, 27 percent of the soybean crop is poor to very poor, five percent more than last week. One year ago, eight percent of soybeans were in poor to very poor condition. 

The decline in good crop conditions and increase in poor conditions resulted in surges in corn and soybean prices. Corn prices ended at $7.67 per bushel Monday after a high of $7.77 during the day, while soybean prices closed at $16.54.

Certain Midwestern states, including Indiana and Illinois, are particularly struggling to recover from the dryness. Almost half Illinois' corn crop is now in poor to very poor condition, and more than 60 percent is in the same condition in Indiana. 

Additional crop reports this week include those on Wednesday featuring USDA crop production and supply and demand reports. Poor to very poor soybean conditions rose 10 percent from last week in Illinois and more than 10 percent in Indiana. 

In its crop progress numbers, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) also reported a decline in overall pasture and range condition for 48 states. This week, 21 percent of pasture and rangeland is in good to excellent shape, down from 25 percent last week and contrasted to 49 percent last year. 


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