The first field-based USDA crop production report will be released next week and there is keen interest in the figures given the divergent crop conditions across the country.
In the case of corn what appears to be record yield potential in many states west of the Mississippi River is offset by some rather poor crops in the Eastern Corn Belt.
Using 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) the accompanying graphic shows the crop ratings as of the end of July for the top 18 corn growing states and the U.S. for both this year and last.
We have also calculated the 1986-2014 average for the end of July ratings and also plotted the 2015 value as a percent of this average.
This year's U.S. rating of 754 is very good and is 3.6% above the 1986-2014 average though down from the year ago 774 rating that dovetailed well with the eventual record U.S. corn yield produced last year of 171.0 bushels per acre.
This year 8 of the top 18 states have end of July ratings better than year ago levels with Kentucky and Minnesota appearing to have much better yield potential than last year.
Conversely IL, IN, OH and MO have the worst ratings relative to year ago levels and this should be no surprise as this was where the excess moisture problems were most prevalent.
Still, the 2015 is shaping up to be a decent crop with 12 of the 18 states having end of July ratings above their respective 1986-2014 average paced by MN, PA and TN.
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