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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In order to provide additional perspective on the farm economy, the American Farm Bureau Federation conducted an informal online survey between Jan. 8 and Feb. 14. Nearly 300 respondents completed the survey with high participation across the Midwest. Nearly 80% of the respondents identified as a farmer or rancher and the primary farming activities represented included crop, cattle and calves, followed by dairy, other livestock and specialty crops.

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Credit: CC 2.0 by United Soybean Board 

USDA’s recent Agricultural Outlook Forum presented a first look at the supply and demand projections for cotton and grains and oilseeds for the 2020/2021 crop year. The largest annual meeting of USDA, the forum is also the venue for USDA’s chief economist to unveil the department’s projections for U.S. commodity markets and trade. The balance sheet projections from the forum will be updated in the May World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates report and will also include acreage information from USDA’s March Prospective Plantings report, which will include surveyed farmers’ 2020 planting intentions.

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