US crop conditions steady as soy, corn harvest lags further-

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

US crop progress data has shown stable quality conditions for both staple crops corn and soybean, but both harvests' progress remains behind expectations on bad weather, data from the USDA has shown late Monday.

For soybeans, analysts had expected crops rated as good or excellent to fall one percentage point to 65%, but they remained unchanged at 66%.

In harvest terms, soybeans raced to a 15-percentage point increase taking the US crop to 53% harvested – beating analysts’ expectations by one percentage point.

However, the harvest remains well behind both the five-year average and last year’s rate of progress, which should be closer to 70% at this time of the year.

With figures on the days suitable for field work markedly improved versus last week’s situation, lingering rains remained a concern with the key state of Iowa reporting surplus water across 35% of its topsoil and 37% of its subsoil.

A drier outlook for the week ahead is likely to see progress pick up again.

For corn, conditions were also unchanged at 68%, although the headline masked a shift of one percentage point from the excellent category to the good category.

Again, analysts had been looking for a one percentage point fall in the overall ratings, while the trade had looked for the harvest to be more than halfway finished with average guesses coming in at 51%.

The rate increased ten percentage points over the course of the week, taking it to 49% harvested, according to the data – still marginally ahead of the five-year average and 12 percentage points ahead of last year’s position.

Elsewhere, winter wheat plantings reached 72%, behind the five-year average of 77%, with emerging now at 53%, just two points behind the five-year average.

Both sorghum and cotton conditions took a beating in the bad weather, leaving 53% of the sorghum rated good or excellent, which is down from 55% last week and well behind last year’s 65%.

Cotton stood at 34% good or excellent, down one percentage point on the week but well behind the 56% seen last year.

Cotton can compete with corn for planting space, with Brazil’s farmers last year mulling increasing their cotton acreage at the expense of their second safrinha corn crop.