Pasture, Corn and Soybean Ratings Continue Their Drought Related DeclineMon, 06 Aug 2012 17:02:41 CDT
Half of the nation's corn crop was rated poor to very poor as of Sunday, Aug. 5, according to USDA's latest weekly Crop Progress report. That compares to 48% last week. The percentage of the soybeans rated poor to very poor increased to 39% from 37% last week.
Weekend rains were heavier than expected in some areas, which tipped the futures markets to the bearish side Monday. But that wasn't enough moisture to matter for much of the already-gone corn crop. Some soybean fields will benefit, and if the rains continue, we may see some improvement in crop ratings in coming weeks. John Sanow with DTN believes "it's not a matter of whether USDA will lower their current 146 bushels per acre estimate but rather by how much. This report should be considered bullish as a large drop in the harvested acreage number will have to be accounted for as well." This past Friday, Informa Economics lowered their guesstimate on the size of the 2012 corn crop to 120.7 bushels per acre, expecting a 10.388 billion bushel corn crop versus their July 2012 expectations of 12.49 billion bushels.
As for soybeans, the big question is how much did the recent rains really help the crop. DTN's Sanow says "How much this past weekend's rain will help is also put into question given 71% of the crop was reportedly setting pods as compared to the five-year average of 53% while 93% of the nation's crop was blooming."
A key southern crop also saw hot dry conditions take its toll. The 2012 cotton crop ratings rose five percentage points in the poor to very poor rankings- from 22% a week ago to 27% this week. The Oklahoma cotton crop ratings got worse- falling to 45% poor to very poor- Missouri (most of their cotton grown in the Bootheel) now at 43% poor to very poor and the huge Texas crop is falling off in condition ratings- now at 41% poor to very poor.
Pasture and range ratings also slid another two percentage points- now at 59% poor to very poor versus 57% a week ago. Missouri remains in the bullseye of the drought conditions, with their pasture ratings 99% poor to very poor and the other 1% in fair condition. That's up from 98% a week ago. Illinois stands pat this week versus last at 95% poor to very poor while Kansas is now at 89% poor to very poor compared to 88% a week ago. The excessive heat and absence of rain til the weekend saw pasture and range ratings in Oklahoma continue to fall rapidly- this week another 12 points worse than last Monday- now at 76% poor to very poor versus 64% one week ago. (The picture above is a very dry pasture in western Oklahoma that is mostly cheatgrass- courtesy of Gary McManus of the Oklahoma Climatological Survey.)
Click here for the complete US Crop Progress report as released on Monday afternoon, August 6. 2012.
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