June 16, 2016
U.S. Corn Condition Steady, Soybeans Improve
Corn - The condition of the 2015 U.S. corn crop held steady last week at 75% rated good to excellent. Ten states indicated that the corn condition had improved last week, 4 states indicated that the corn condition had declined last week, and 4 states were unchanged. Most of the improvements were found in the western Corn Belt while most of the declines were found in the central and eastern Corn Belt. The five states with the highest rated corn are: Wisconsin, Tennessee, North Dakota, Colorado, and Minnesota. The five states with the lowest rated corn are: Kentucky, Kansas, South Dakota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania.
The weather conditions last week were generally beneficial for the developing corn crop. While the temperatures were quite hot, the soil moisture was generally adequate for the crop. The corn condition is a little better than last year and the long term average.
Soybeans - The condition of the 2015 U.S. soybean crop improved 2% last week to 74% rated good to excellent. Thirteen states indicated that the soybean condition had improved last week while 4 states indicated that the soybean condition had declined last week. Most of the improvements were found across the Corn Belt while only Arkansas, North Carolina, Ohio, and South Dakota indicated declines. The five states with the highest rated soybeans are: Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Tennessee. The five states with the lowest rated soybeans are: Arkansas, Missouri, Kansas, North Carolina, and Mississippi.
As expected, the warm and humid conditions were beneficial for the small soybeans. I don't think the condition of the soybean crop means all that much at this early stage, but the condition is starting off better than last year and the long term average.
Soil Moisture - The hot temperatures last week dried out the nation's soils with only one state indicating that the soil moisture got wetter last week while 17 states indicated that the soil moisture got dryer last week. Wisconsin was the only state that reported wetter soils last week. The five states with the wettest soils are: Wisconsin, Minnesota, Louisiana, Kentucky, and Iowa. The five states with the driest soils are: Michigan, Mississippi, Indiana, Ohio, and Missouri.
The soil moisture is significantly dryer this year compared to last year and the long term average and it will likely dry out some more this week. The northern and western Corn Belt is wetter and the central and eastern Corn Belt is dryer. I don't want to make too much of the soil moisture this early in the summer, but it is something we need to watch closely. If the soils continue drying out during the month of June, it has the potential to impact the size of the ears even before pollination.