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US Corn Crop Rating Chart

First corn crop rating vs. trend yields

To great anticipation, the USDA released its first weekly crop condition report for U.S. corn this week.

Ample precipitation this spring along with cooler than normal temperatures has made corn plantings a challenge this season, especially in the Missouri Valley and Eastern Corn Belt regions. This had raised questions about how the USDA would assess the crop in its initial crop ratings report. Read more

soybean and wheat field photo

Corn, soybeans: when to start paying attention to crop condition ratings?

The USDA will report crop condition ratings for the 2017 U.S corn and soybean crops in the 18 major producing states in the weekly Crop Progress report beginning May 30 and continuing until harvest.

Weekly crop condition ratings have been made for all the major producing states since 1986. Market participants typically follow the crop condition ratings closely as an indication of crop health, yield potential, and change in yield potential as the growing season proceeds. Read more

Photo of corn harvesting

Corn: historical grain yields for the U.S.

Historical grain yields provide us with a glimpse of yields yet to come, although like the stock markets, past performance is no guarantee of the future. The historical yield data for corn in the U.S. illustrate the positive impact of improved crop genetics and crop production technologies.

From 1866, the first year USDA began to publish corn yield estimates, through about 1936, yields of open-pollinated corn varieties in the U.S. remained fairly stagnant and averaged about 26 bu/ac (1.6 MT/ha) throughout that 70-year period. Amazingly, the historical data indicate there was no appreciable change in productivity during that entire time period (Fig. 1), even though farmers’ seed-saving practices represented a form of Read more

Corn field photo

U.S. corn yield limited if conditions land below 70 percent

Corn market participants often dismiss U.S. crop condition scores as meaningless, especially this early in the season. While they are still highly subject to change, the initial rating sets the tone for the growing season and can even cap yield potential – but do not expect a change to production outlooks just yet.

On Tuesday at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT), the U.S. Department of Agriculture will issue the initial condition ratings of the domestic corn crop in its weekly crop progress report. The corn market typically focuses on the percentage of corn sitting in the “good” or “excellent” category, which is determined by an extensive network of observers who are surveyed Read more

wheat seedlings

Winter wheat condition holds for second week

The condition of the U.S. winter wheat crop held steady for the second straight week this past week.

Monday’s USDA crop progress report put the condition of the nationwide crop at 54% good to excellent as of Sunday, unchanged from a week earlier and 7 points behind last year. Crops in Kansas and Oklahoma were battered by severe weather over the weekend – including heavy snow in parts of the Read more

Corn field photo

Wet spring puts U.S. corn further at mercy of summer weather

(The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a market analyst for Reuters.)

By Karen Braun

CHICAGO, April 26 (Reuters) – The corn market is reminded every year about how crucial it is to have favorable summer weather in the United States, but that may be especially true this year, as an unusually wet spring could get the season off to a shaky start.

Traders have been somewhat hesitant to factor in wet U.S. weather and the potential for corn planting delays to futures prices, but the risk was evident enough on Tuesday, when July corn futures closed up 6-1/4 cents or 1.6 percent

The move followed the previous day’s crop progress report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which showed that U.S. corn planting was 17 percent complete as of April 23, ahead of the pre-report trade guess of 15 percent. Read more

Harvesting Soybeans

Big south american output casting long shadow

Wet weather may be slowing planting in the American Midwest, but the big crops expected in South America this year will continue to overhang the corn and soybean markets, according to a U.S. analyst.

Speaking last week as part of an MGEX-sponsored crop call, Randy Martinson of Martinson Ag Risk Management, admitted the big numbers from South America suggest there’s little reason for Northern Hemisphere producers to expect any kind of significant price rally, especially given the fact the Brazil soybean harvest is now just about wrapped up. Read more

Global Soybean Ending Stocks Up Sharply

Global and U.S. soybean ending stocks are continuing to trend higher, with the world estimate seeing a particularly sharp increase this month.

April 11, 2017 – In updated supply-demand estimates released Tuesday, the USDA raised its 2016-17 soybean ending stocks estimates from last month for both the U.S. and the world. Meanwhile, its average U.S. soybean price forecast ticked lower. Read more

Corn field photo

Global Corn Ending Stocks Build on Larger Crops

U.S. corn ending stocks for 2016-17 didn’t get any heavier this month, but global stocks did.

Updated supply-demand estimates released by the USDA on Tuesday pegged estimated worldwide corn ending stocks for the current marketing year at 222.98 million tonnes, up from 220.68 million last month and roughly 11 million above the previous year.

The bulk of the increase in global ending stocks can be attributed to higher global production, with the USDA once again raising its estimate of this year’s Brazilian crop, which is now seen at a whopping 93.5 million tonnes. That’s up from 91.5 million in March and represents an increase of 7 million tonnes from just two months ago. The latest Brazilian government data indicates Read more

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Optimism remains for U.S. soy exports amid Brazilian competition – Reuters

The opinions expressed here are those of the author, a market analyst for Reuters.

By Karen Braun

CHICAGO, March 10 (Reuters) – U.S. soybean shippers may have been disappointed with demand revisions from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Thursday, but there is good reason to maintain optimism over the domestic export outlook.

In its monthly supply and demand report, USDA reduced 2016/17 U.S. soybean exports to 2.025 billion bushels. This follows four straight months with the estimate having been unchanged at the 2.05 billion mark.

While the new figure still represents a 5 percent increase over the previous high set last year, the move is somewhat unprecedented as the U.S. agency has not made any cuts to domestic soybean exports later than January during the past three record-setting years.

The decrease in U.S. exports was not severe – only 25 million bushels or 680,000 tonnes – but given that global soybean demand actually Read more