Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

Crop Conditions Hold Steady as Harvest Approaches

Market Intel / August 28, 2018

USDA’s August 27 Crop Progress report reveals 68 percent of the U.S. corn crop is in good-to-excellent condition, unchanged from last week. Analysts expected the conditions to stagnate this time of year as crops are maturing. The percent of crops in good-to-excellent condition is up slightly over the five-year average of 67 and up 6 percentage points over the prior year. Crops in poor-to-very-poor condition have also remained unchanged from last week’s 12 percent. Figure 1 outlines the condition break-down on a state-by state-level for corn crops.

For the week ending August 26, USDA reports 66 percent of the soybean crop is in good-to-excellent condition, up 1 percentage point from last week. The figures seen this week are up 5 percentage points from last year’s 61 percent and up 1 percentage point from the five-year average. Soybean crops in poor-to-very-poor condition have remained unchanged from last week at 11 percent. Figure 2 outlines the condition breakdown on a state-by-state level for soybean crops.

Cotton crop conditions have seen a slight increase in what has been a very dry year. USDA estimates 44 percent of the U.S. cotton crop is in good-to-excellent condition, up 2 percentage points from last week. The current rating is down 21 percentage points from last year’s rating of 65 percent. This past week areas of the Cotton Belt received some much-needed precipitation of about 1 to 6 inches, leading to improvements in crop conditions. The percent of crops in poor-to-very-poor condition has increased substantially over last year’s 11 percent, up 20 percentage points, to 31 from last. Figure 3 outlines the condition break-down on a state-by-state level for cotton crops.

Megan Nelson
Economic Analyst
(202) 406-3629

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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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