Fundamentally Speaking

Corn Crop Conditions as of July 14

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.



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Howard Hales
7/20/2013 | 6:56 PM CDT
Thanks for the update. In the west we are watching the Midwest corn crop progress. The corn progress directly impacts the price of alfalfa in the west.
Dale Paisley
7/19/2013 | 12:30 PM CDT
with the amount of corn ( and beans ) planted or replanted in Michigan during the first 2 weeks of June, I have to believe there is a good possibility for frost dameage for at least some of the crop. these 100 degrees days without rain are not going to help it either. Fields are uneven and many look like they are on thier last legs. They are predicting rain today but that is expected to be accompanied by high winds and a good chance of damaging hail. It will be interesting to se how things progress in the next week. If we do not get the relief we need in both temperatures and moisture, there will be nothing left to harvest.
Freeport IL
7/17/2013 | 10:08 AM CDT
Hot and dry to a killing frost. We might see this weather market continue for sometime. USDA's July 15, 2013 crop progress report indicates corn silking is behind the 5 year average pace for all 18 states that are followed. The late crop increases the risk of the crop's premature death. Should the corn crop die 100-120 growing degree days (GDD) short of maturity the dry matter loss in the kernel is about 10%. When the crop is 200-240 GDD short the dry matter loss can be as high as 40%. (These numbers are for a frost that kills the whole plant. Corn seems to be able to continue to move nutrients to the kernel if only the leaves are killed by frost. So a lighter frost would have less damage.) North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, and parts of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin are areas that have the greatest risk of a frost hurting corn production. This area might have around 32 millions acres of planted corn. It is unlikely for an early frost event to kill that large of an area in one frost event but the potential damage could be quite large. Our model based upon the historic weather at Nashua, Iowa in north eastern part of the state. This effort speculates the likelihood of frost damage based upon silking date. A crop silking July 23 is projected to have frost damage 7% of the time with a 3% chance of the damage being over 10%. A July 30th silk date is 30% & 10%; August 6th, 60% & 40% and August 13th, 90% & 70%, respectfully. Handicapping frost damage from planting date speculates around 150 million bushels of frost premium should be in the market. A very early frost might see damages over four times that amount. Freeport, IL