CME: Corn, Soybean Crops in Good Condition

US - According to CME's Daily Livestock Report for 3 August, the 2009 US corn and soybean crops remain in good condition relative to history according the USDA’s weekly Crop Progress report, released this afternoon.
calendar icon 4 August 2009
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The charts below show the per centages of both crops rated as good and excellent this year and last year as well as the average per centage rated good and excellent in corresponding weeks over the period 1999-2008. Finally, the top and bottom of the shaded areas represent the years with the highest and lowest good-excellent per centages, respectfully, since 1990.

Some of this week’s highlights are:

  • 68 per cent of the nation’s corn acres were rated as either good or excellent. That is down 2 per cent from last week but still 2 per cent higher than last year. This week’s 2 per cent decline was the second decline in a row and is establishing a downward trend for the 2009 crop. Note that the 2008 crop — which eventually exceeded most expectations — continued to improve in condition into mid-August. Still, 68 per cent good or excellent is nothing to sneeze at and is easily in the top half of historical ratings for this time of year. All of the major corn producing states except Michigan and Texas shows 60 per cent or more of acres rated good or excellent. Only half of Michigan’s acres and only 34 per cent of Texas acres were so rated.

  • The per centage of soybean acres rated good or excellent held steady at 67 per cent this week. That is still 4 per cent higher than last year and 11 per cent higher than the 10-year average for this week. Most of the major soybean producing states still look quite good. The exceptions are Illinois (59 per cent), Michigan (51 per cent), Missouri (59 per cent) and Wisconsin (50 per cent). Soybeans in Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina are also rated substantially lower than the national average.

  • The report again bears out that, while in great condition, these crops are quite immature for this time of year.
    1. 76 per cent of corn acres are silking (ie. developing the silks that are the plant’s female portion to which pollen adheres and forms a kernel) as compared to an average of 89 per cent over the past 5 years. Only 14 per cent of acres had corn in the dough stage (an early development stage of the kernel) versus the 5-year average of 29 per cent.

    2. The per cent of soybean acres in bloom stood at 76 per cent versus 86 per cent over the past 5 years. Only 36 per cent of soybean acres were setting pods, a whopping 18 per cent lower than the average for this week over the past 5 years.

These crop conditions indicate that both crops still have very high yield potentials but both crops need some more rain, warm days (85+), warm nights and, quite likely, a late frost to fulfill that potential. Very tight yearend soybean stocks and another projected record for total domestic corn usage (10.56 billion bushels) both point to the need for ample 2009 harvests of both crops.

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