We see that the average trade guess for the 2017 U.S. soybean yield is 48.6 bushels per acre (bpa), a mere 0.6 bpa reduction from their August projection.
Even though the growing season is ending rather dry in much of the Eastern Corn Belt, steady crop ratings last month and a notable improvement in conditions west of the Mississippi suggests the U.S. will harvest a decent crop.
Similar to what we did with corn, this graphic shows the U.S. and top 18 soybean state crop conditions as of September 1st for this year, the 1986-2016 average, 2017 as a percent of that average and where 2017 ranks for the period 1986-2017.
Crop conditions are measured using our usual ratings system where we weight the crop based on the percent in each category and assign that category a factor of 2 for very poor, 4 for poor, 6 for fair, 8 for good, and 10 for excellent and then sum the results.
In looking at the national figure the Sep 1, 2017 U.S. soybean rating of 716 is actually 2.3% above the 1986-2016 average of 699 with a rank of 13 out of the 32 years' worth of data.
In fact there are only six states out of 18 that have crop ratings as of September 1st below their respective 1986-2016 average including IL, IN, IA, MI, ND and SD.
Of these, the Dakotas are the worst as they are in corn though 9 of the 18 top corn states have 2017 ratings below average as the soybean growing area is more geographically dispersed.
The Delta states seem to have had a particularly robust season with Tennessee having their highest Sep 1 rating ever at 815, a whopping 17.8% above the 30-year average with Arkansas 13% higher and Mississippi 13.1% better and Louisiana 7.8% above average.