This week's rains should just about seal the deal for a record U.S. corn crop in terms of national yield and bushel quantity.
Though this past week's combined good and excellent ratings fell by 2%, the current reading is still one of the highest ever and as noted in a prior post, end of July crop conditions correlate very well with the first USDA crop report issued in August.
Incorporating our usual ratings system where 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, U.S. crop conditions extrapolated to August 1 calculates to 774, the highest since 790 on 8/1/2004.
This graphic shows the condition of each of the top 18 states as of August 1st, the average of August 1 conditions for each of the top states using 1986-2013 data, and what percentile this year's August 1 rating is in relation to the 1986-2014 data.
Some interesting features on the chart include that all but two of the top 18 corn growing states (KS and KY) have better, in some cases substantially higher August 1, 2014 ratings than the 1986-2013 August 1 average along with the U.S. ratings.
A sign of the generally good conditions throughout the Corn Belt is the fact that 7 of the top 18 states and the U.S. as a whole having ratings in the top quarter of August 1 conditions since 1986.
Two of the states, Missouri and North Dakota have their best August 1 corn crop ratings ever with Illinois the second best next to 1986 and Pennsylvania their third best.
With most trade estimates pointing to a 2014 U.S. corn yield north of 170 bushels per acre, the only thing for the USDA to do is answer the question of how big is big though it will be interesting to see if they use the five year average ear weight in their August calculations.
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