Impact of COVID-19 on Agriculture

Millions of Corn and Soybean Acres in Poor-to-Very-Poor Condition

Kansas and Missouri Are Hit Particularly Hard

Market Intel / August 14, 2018

Credit: United Soybean Board/CC BY 2.0 

USDA’s Aug. 13 Crop Progress report revealed that 70 percent of the U.S. corn crop is in good-to-excellent condition, down 1 percentage point from last week, but 8 percentage points higher than the prior year’s 62 percent good-to-excellent. USDA estimates that 10 percent of the corn crop is in poor-to-very-poor condition, unchanged from last week and in line with prior-year levels.

Based on USDA’s June Acreage report, Soybeans Finally Crowned King, and the current state-level crop conditions, an estimated 8.9 million acres of corn are in poor-to-very-poor condition. While the Southwest has experienced very dry growing conditions, most of the acres in poor-to-very-poor condition are in the Upper Midwest, western Corn Belt and along the Mississippi.  Missouri and Kansas have the most corn ground in poor-to-very-poor condition at 1.5 million and 1.2 million acres, respectively. Figure 1 highlights the corn acres in poor-to-very-poor condition as of the week ending Aug. 12.

As of the week ending Aug. 12, 66 percent of the U.S. soybean crop was in good-to-excellent condition. The current conditions are down 1 percentage point from last week and up 7 percentage points from last year’s 59 percent. Soybean acres in poor-to-very-poor condition remained at 10 percent this week, showing no change from last week.

Despite the Southwest having the lowest percentage of soybean acres in good-to-excellent conditions, most of the acres in poor-to-very-poor condition are in the Upper Midwest, western Corn Belt and along the Mississippi. Currently, nearly 9 million soybean acres are in poor-to-very-poor condition. As with the corn crop, Missouri and Kansas have the most soybean acres in poor-to-very-poor condition at 2.1 million and 1.1 million acres, respectively. Combined, Missouri and Kansas have nearly 6 million acres of corn and soybeans in poor-to-very-poor condition. Figure 2 highlights the soybean acres in poor-to-very-poor condition as of the week ending Aug. 12.

Summary

Across the U.S. nearly 18 million acres of corn and soybeans are in poor-to-very-poor condition. This is in line with prior-year conditions for both crops. However, while in aggregate the conditions are in line with prior-year levels, one-third of these acres are in two states disadvantaged by particularly poor growing conditions: Missouri and Kansas.

Currently, USDA projects Missouri corn and soybean yields at 131 bushels per acres, down 23 percent year-over-year, and 45 bushels per acre, down 8 percent year-over-year, respectively. In Kansas USDA projects corn yields to fall 2 percent to 129 bushels per acre and for soybean yields to drop 3 percent to 36 bushels per acre. 

Contact:
John Newton, Ph.D.
Chief Economist
(202) 406-3729
jnewton@fb.org
twitter.com/@New10_AgEcon
 
Megan Nelson
Economic Analyst
(202) 406-3629
megann@fb.org
twitter.com/@MeganRNelson1
 

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