We see more of the same this week when it comes to crop ratings; outside of the southwestern and eastern Midwest, crops are poised to hold their own in the production scheme for this season. The overall corn good to excellent total, at 70 percent, improved by one percentage point over a week ago, and the poor to very poor combined total held steady at nine percent. Soybeans had a similar performance, with the 62 percent good to excellent total matching the figure from last week, while at the other end of the spectrum, the 11 percent combined poor to very poor rating total also was identical with a week ago.
Issues remain where they have ever since the end of May -- Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio. These states have an average G/EX rating total of just under 52 percent on corn, and 42.5 G/EX on soybeans. The soybean rating challenge in these five states is most acute; the Missouri G/EX total is just 30 percent with Indiana and Ohio both at only 41 percent G/EX.
These low ratings in soybeans, of course, certainly bring down the national total. While the 62 percent G/EX on beans matches a week ago, that number is nine percentage points below last year. Compare that with corn, where the 70 percent G/EX total is only five percentage points below a year ago.
Moving now into the end of July and the beginning of August, the soybean situation takes more of the center stage with pod-filling time approaching. And, if the U.S. forecast model -- which I favored in the Tuesday DTN market weather video -- verifies, conditions should be favorable for the soybean fill stage. Upper-air wind patterns look to move from northwest to southeast, which wards off a real heat-wave scenario. Also, continued upper-air troughing over the Great Lakes is a prominent item in the atmosphere, and that is a rain-making feature -- which should keep soybeans out of a real stressful situation at least for the first week of August.
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