Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

Crop Conditions Holding Strong

Market Intel / July 24, 2018

Corn and soybean crops retained their good-to-excellent ratings despite isolated dry weather throughout the Corn Belt. USDA’s July 23rd Crop Progress report revealed 72 percent of the U.S. corn crop in good-to-excellent condition as of the week ending July 22, the same percentage as the prior week.

The good-to-excellent ratings were slightly above expectations of a small drop to 71 percent of the crop in good-to-excellent condition, but far above the prior year’s level of 64 percent and a bit above the five-year average of 70 percent. Per USDA’s report, the percent of the crop in poor to very poor condition was 9 percent again this week, remaining in line with prior-week levels.

For soybeans, USDA estimates that 70 percent of the soybean crop is in good-to-excellent condition, up 1 percentage point from the prior week, but up 13 percentage points from the prior year’s level. Current conditions are slightly higher than the five-year average of 65 percent good-to-excellent. Like corn conditions, the percent of the soybean crop in poor or very poor condition remained unchanged from the prior week’s level of 8 percent.

Compared to the five-year average, many states have much better corn and soybean conditions. Throughout much of the Corn Belt the good-to-excellent ratings are well above historical average levels, in fact, eight corn states and six soybean states have good-to-excellent conditions at least 10 percent above the five-year average, Figures 1 and 2.

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

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Today we face a different sort of inflation (September’s consumer price index was up 5.4% from last year), with specific disruptions cascading throughout the economy, leading to general shortages and price increases. This is similar in many ways to inflation during wartime, when governments take dramatic economy-distorting steps to deal with the crisis, the shape of demand changes suddenly, and certain production and trade flows are interrupted.

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Credit: Arkansas Farm Bureau, used with permission.  

Released on Sept. 30, USDA’s Quarterly Grain Stocks Report showed that as of Sept. 1 old-crop corn and soybean inventory levels had dropped, compelling USDA to update supply and demand expectations in the October World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates, released on Oct. 12. Much higher-than-expected soybean stocks and the subsequent adjustments made for old and new crop supply and demand pushed soybean prices for the 2020/21 marketing year average and the 2021/22 marketing year down sharply.

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