Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

As Conditions Improve, Corn Harvest Begins

Market Intel / September 11, 2018

USDA’s September 10 Crop Progress report reveals 5 percent of the U.S. corn crop has been harvested. For this time of year, corn harvest throughout the U.S. is up 3 percentage points from the five-year average and remains on target with last year’s harvest percentage. Corn harvest is just beginning, with the Southern states making the most progress. Louisiana farmers have harvested 98 percent of their corn crop and Georgia producers have harvested 87 percent of their crop. Figure 1 illustrates the pace of U.S. corn harvest by state as of Sept. 8. 

Crop conditions for the week ending Sept. 9 have improved, with USDA estimating 68 percent of the U.S. corn crop is in good-to-excellent condition. Corn crop conditions are up 1 percentage point from last week and up 7 percentage points from last year. The improved crop conditions were a bit of a surprise to analysts, who were expecting recent precipitation and muddy fields resulting from saturated maturing crops to lead to a decline in conditions. The percent of corn crops in good-to-excellent condition is up 2 percentage points over the five-year average of 66 percent. Corn crops in poor-to-very-poor condition have remained unchanged from the previous three weeks’ 12 percent.

USDA reports 68 percent of the soybean crop is in good-to-excellent condition, up 2 percentage points from last week and 8 percentage points from last year. The percent of crops in good-to-excellent condition continues to be up 5 percentage points from the five-year average of 63 percent. Soybean crops in poor-to-very-poor condition have abated slightly to 10 percent, down 1 percentage point from the previous two weeks. 

Contact:
Megan Nelson
Economic Analyst
(202) 406-3629
megann@fb.org
twitter.com/@MeganRNelson1
 

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Credit: Yuri Samoilov // CC BY 2.0 

USDA data reveals that as of the end of June nearly one-third, or $4.85 billion, of the $16 billion in CFAP assistance has been paid to livestock, dairy, crop and specialty crop producers. Of that total, $2.4 billion, more than 50%, has been paid to livestock (cattle, hog and lamb producers), $1.3 billion, or 26%, has been paid to non-specialty crop producers, $1 billion, or 22%, has been paid to dairy producers and $113 million, or 2%, has been paid to specialty crop producers.

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Following USDA’s March Prospective Plantings report, USDA’s June 30 Acreage report updated acreage expectations for the upcoming crop year. For the 2020/21 crop year, USDA now estimates corn planted area at 92 million acres, 3%, or 2.3 million acres, above prior-year levels. The revision is 5 million acres lower from March intended planting projections of 97 million acres, which was expected to lead to a record amount of corn production. Pre-report estimates had been calling for a reduction of 1.8 million acres, to 95.2 million acres of corn. Iowa leads the way in corn acres planted with 14 million acres, an increase of 4% compared to 2019. Illinois follows with 10.9 million acres of corn planted, up 4% from 2019, and Nebraska planted 9.8 million acres, down 3% from 2019. With 3.4 million acres, Ohio is expected to have the largest increase, 29%, in corn planted in 2020 compared to 2019. South Dakota follows with an increase of 24% in corn planting for 2020 compared to 2019 and Washington increases 18% in 2020 compared to 2019 corn planting. Figures 1 and 2 highlight USDA’s corn acres planted and the year-over-year change from 2019.

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