All growing season we have noted the diagonal line that separates eastern and southern regions that have done very well weather-wise and those to the north and west that have not.
Conditions in the eastern one-half to two-thirds of the Corn Belt have been quite favorable (wetter and cooler), while those further west have been far more challenging (hotter and drier).
We think the central question heading into Thursday's USDA reports is can the 75% of the main U.S. corn and soybean growing areas doing well have high enough yields and a large percent of the planted acreage harvested to offset the 25% that will have well below trend yields and a high rate of abandonment.
Using our usual 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, this chart shows the week 30 (end of July/beginning of August) crop ratings for each of the top 18 producing corn and soybean states and the U.S. from the period 1999-2021.
Plotted are the 2021 rating and the 1999-2021 average while the numbers in the yellow boxes box are where the 2021 rating ranks from 1999-2021 period.
This graph provides a nice snapshot of who is doing well and who is not and as we have noted in these blogs over the past few weeks, Minnesota has the third worst rated corn crop as of the beginning of August since 1999, South Dakota the fourth worst and North Dakota is having its worst crop since 1999 and Iowa the fifth worst.
On the other hand, Ohio appears to have its second-best corn crop for that time of year since 1999 and Michigan the third best.
Meanwhile Minnesota and North Dakota's soybean crop as of the beginning of August are the worst since 1999 while South Dakota has the third worst and Iowa the fifth worst.
On the other hand, Ohio appears to have its best soybean crop for this time of year since 1999, Nebraska its second best, AR and LA their third best and MI and MS their fourth best.
The fact is that 14 of the 18 states top corn and soybean states have end of July/beginning of August crop ratings over their respective 1999-2020 averages as does the U.S. as a whole, so does that augur for at least trend 2021 U.S. corn and soybean yields?
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