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: TheDigitalArtist/ CC0 

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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