The attached chart shows the trend in the crop condition index for various North Dakota crops since the first USDA ratings were released this spring. While the latest data as of July 23 shows a slight improvement in the index for spring wheat, barley and soybeans, the other five crops shown on this chart saw their respective index continue to trend lower as the drought in the state continues.
While all crops have shown a deterioration in conditions since the first ratings were released this spring, the chart clearly shows some crops faring better than others. For example, the upper brown line represents the index for soybeans, which has deteriorated from an index of 135 reported as of Week 3 to the most recent CCI of 90, an overall drop of 33%. In contrast, the oat CCI has deteriorated from its initial week 1 rating of 123 to minus 19 as of July 23, a 115% drop (grey line).
The USDA has named the spring wheat condition near its lowest level on record. Market watchers will be looking for this week's feedback from the Wheat Quality Council's Hard Spring Wheat and Durum Tour. The most recent estimates from the USDA point to an average yield projection of 39 bushels per acre for HRS and 40.3 bpa for durum. Watch DTN for updates as they happen on the tour and to see how estimated yields relate to the USDA's recent estimates. Should yields come in well-below current government estimates, this could have bullish implications for all crops in the region.
Cliff Jamieson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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