Fundamentally Speaking

First 2024 U.S. Soybean Rating Quite High

Joel Karlin
By  Joel Karlin , DTN Contributing Analyst
Chart by Joel Karlin, DTN Contributing Analyst

This week USDA released its first national soybean condition report for the 2024 season.

Using our usual ratings system 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 graph plots the first soybean crop rating of each year from 1990 to 2024 on the left-hand axis while on the right-hand axis is the combined percent in the good or excellent category.

Also reported in the yellow boxes is the percent that final soybean yield deviated from 1990-2023 trend.

This year's initial soybean rating is 758, well above the 1990-2024 average of 730 and tied with 2020 as the highest initial rating since 2018.

In fact, this is only the sixth time since USDA started issuing national soybean ratings in 1986 that the figure has been at 758 or higher and also only the sixth time that the combined good or excellent ratings have been at 72% or higher.

Of course, it is still early and to be truthful the correlation between the first crop rating and the percent that corn yields deviate from the long-term trend is only 23%.

Still, we were curious to see what similar years did in terms of the first crop rating and also when the initial report was released.

One good thing is that except for 2010, all four years of a 758 or higher first crop rating saw above trend yields.

We have noted in prior blog pieces that soil moisture across much of the key U.S. soybean producing areas is the best it has been since 2020, so the rather high first crop rating of the year is really not that surprising, although we still have a long growing season ahead of us.

We should note that USDA is projecting a record soybean yield this year of 52 bushels per acre.

We are about due as the last time a record soybean yield was set was back in 2016 as that seven-year time span was one of the longest ever for time between all-time high soybean yields being set.


To comment, please Log In or Join our Community .