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August, 6, 2020

2020 U.S. Crops in Good Condition, Estimates Moving Higher

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

The recent weather across much of the Corn Belt has been beneficial for both the developing corn and soybean crops. The forecast is calling for a return of higher temperatures, but not excessively hot. As a result, most private analysts are increasing their estimates for both the 2020 U.S. corn crop and soybean crop.

U.S. Corn - The condition of the 2020 U.S. corn crop held steady last week at 72% rated good to excellent. July was hotter than normal with some dry pockets in the eastern Corn Belt as well as western Iowa and pockets in Kansas and Nebraska, but now the temperatures have cooled significantly and more rain has moved across the central and eastern Corn Belt. With the exception of Iowa, the dry pockets in the eastern and western Corn Belt have shrunk.

The recent weather has generally been cool and dry across the northern Corn Belt and cool with occasional rain across the central and southern Corn Belt. The cooler temperatures reduces the water demand of the crop and will help to stretch out the available moisture supplies. The longer range forecast is calling for a return of warmer temperatures. A short period of dryness across the northern Corn Belt should not cause a problem as long as additional moisture returns in a relatively short period of time.

Cooler temperatures during August should allow for a slower grain fill which could result in large and heavy kernels. If there is additional rainfall in the next week or so, the corn estimate will likely move higher.

The 2020 U.S. corn is 92% silked compared to 72% last year and 87% average. The corn is 39% dough compared to 20% last year and 33% average.

U.S. Soybeans - Normally this time of the year the soybean condition declines on a weekly basis, but not this year. The soybean rating is improving and it is basically tied with 2016, 2014, and 2004 for the highest rating in the last 20 years for the first week of August. The soybeans are rated 73% good to excellent, which is up 1% from the previous week. The soil moisture is above average and improving and the temperatures are cool - it doesn't get much better than this.

The soybean crop is in very good shape right now and the cooler temperatures will stretch out available moisture supplies in areas that may have missed the last rains. It is going to start warming up again later this week and the soybeans will need additional moisture, but if there are good rains in the western and northern Corn Belt starting in a week or so, the soybean yield estimates will likely move higher.

The soybeans are 85% blooming compared to 68% last year and 82% average and the soybeans are 59% setting pods compared to 32% last year and 54% average.