The corn market is getting a pop on growing dryness that is encompassing about 25% of the Corn Belt, primarily in the southwest regions.
This has resulted in the first drop in crop conditions all year as the percent of the crop rated in the good to excellent category fell from 68% to 66%.
Still, crop conditions in general are above their averages and well above year ago levels.
Using our usual ranking system where we weight the crop based on the percent in each category and assign that category a factor of 2 for VP, 4 for P, 6 for F, 8 for G, and 10 for EX and sum the results, this year July 1 rating was 734.
This graphic shows the crop rating for the top 18 corn producing states and the U.S. as of July 14.
Also plotted is this year’s July 14 rating as a percent of the 2003-2012 average for that date and the percent that each state and the U.S. crop rating has changed from the initial crop condition report June 3 to the July 14 rating.
The eastern half of the belt has had better conditions and this is reflected in states such as IN, KY, NC, OH, PA, and TN having the highest 7/14 readings.
The states having the worst ratings are those close or in the large area of drought that covers the western third of the continental U.S. including CO, KS, MO, and TX.
Interestingly these four states are the only ones that have the 2013 July 14 rating below the average July 14 reading from 2003 to 2012.
Conversely, IN, NC, and TN have 7/14/13 ratings well above their ten-year average.
As for how conditions have progressed so far this year, national ratings are up 2.0% over the past six weeks with KY, IL, and NC seeing the best improvements while CO, KS, MO, and TX have seen the greatest deterioration.