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August 26, 2020

2020 U.S. Corn Condition Declines 5% to 64% Rated G/E

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

The condition of the 2020 U.S. corn crop declined 5% last week to 64% rated good to excellent. The corn is 88% dough compared to 66% last year and 82% average. The corn is 44% dent compared to 24% last year and 39% average. The corn is 5% mature compared to 2% last year and 5% average.

I lowered the U.S. corn yield 2 bu/ac this week to 178.0 bu/ac due to damage from the derecho storm two weeks ago and expanding dryness in many areas and I have a lower bias going forward. The temperatures are now heating up to above normal and in the dryer areas, these high temperatures, coupled with a lack of moisture, is increasing the moisture stress and could prematurely shut off the grain filling process resulting in lower than expected yields.

The weather last week was dry with seasonal temperatures to start the week, but warmer temperatures returned by the end of the week and over the weekend. The warmer temperatures are forecasted to persist this week with limited chances of rainfall, at least during the first half of the week. Hurricane Laura in the Gulf of Mexico could bring some much needed rainfall to the eastern Corn Belt later in the week, but where and how much is yet to be determined.

The driest area of the Corn Belt is western Iowa. North-central and eastern Iowa did receive some rainfall over the weekend, but the western half of the state stayed mostly dry. The Drought Monitor last Thursday indicated that 87% of Iowa is abnormally dry, which was an increase of 8% from the prior week. The amount of Iowa in moderate drought was 45%, up 11%, 23% of Iowa was in severe drought which was up 4.7% from the prior week, and 6% of Iowa is in extreme drought, which was unchanged from the prior week. The soil moisture in Iowa is rated 76% short to very short.

Other dry areas across the Corn Belt include northern Illinois, northern Indiana, northern Ohio, as well as parts of Nebraska and southwestern Minnesota.

A wild card as far as the weather is concerned is going to be Hurricane Laura that is expected to make landfall along the Louisiana coast about mid-week. The moisture from Laura is forecasted to move up the Ohio River Valley, which would be good news for the far eastern Corn Belt.

When hurricanes or tropical storms move on land, they can impede the west-to-east progression of weather systems across the country. That would not be good news for the dryer areas of the western Corn Belt, especially western Iowa.