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August 19, 2020

U.S. Soybeans Impacted much less than Corn from Derecho Storm

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

The condition of the U.S. soybean crop declined 2% last week to 72% rated good to excellent. The soybeans are 96% blooming compared to 88% last year and 94% average. The soybeans are 84% setting pods compared to 64% last year and 79% average.

In the August crop Report, the USDA estimated the 2020 U.S. soybean yield at a record high 53.3 bu/ac. The record yield was probably justified given how well the crop has been doing thus far, but the situation now is somewhat different.

The soybean crop was not impacted as much by the derecho storm as the corn, but there will be some damage. The strong winds lodged some of the soybeans, but that does not necessarily mean that the soybeans lost potential yield. Lodged soybeans can still yield very well as long as the weather cooperates, but they are more prone to increased disease pressure especially if the pods may be close to the soil surface and there is a period of wet weather prior to harvest. Subsequent rains may splash soil onto the pods which could increase the potential for fungal diseases, especially if the pods had been damaged by hail for example.

The dryer forecast could also be a concern for the soybeans. The weather last week was relatively dry across the central Corn Belt and this week looks dryer than normal as well. The soybeans have been doing very well, so the crop came into this dryer pattern with a very high yield potential. The dry weather might keep the soybean yield from moving higher, and the soybean yield might actually decline if the dry weather persists through the end of August.

The Farm Services Administration (FSA) reported that 1.2 million acres of intended soybeans were claimed as prevent plant, which I think also gives credence to the 83.8 million planted acreage. In fact, we may end up with fewer planted acres than reported and a little more abandoned acres than estimated, but I am not very confident about that, so I left the harvested acreage unchanged at 83.02 million acres.