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June 2, 2014

First Rating Indicates the U.S. Corn is in Very Good Condition

Corn - The first condition rating of the 2014 corn crop indicated that 76% of the corn was rated good to excellent. This compares to 63% last year and 72% two years ago. The top five rated corn states are: Tennessee, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, and Michigan. The five states with the lowest rated corn are: Kansas, Texas, Missouri, Indiana, and a tie between Illinois and Ohio.

A word of caution - The first few condition reports of the summer are usually quite positive. As long as the corn has emerged and it is not under water or frosted, it is hard to say anything other than the crop is in good condition. So it’s no surprise when the early condition ratings indicate a generally good looking crop.

These condition ratings are compiled from thousands of individuals reporting on how the crops look in their immediate vicinity. These weekly condition ratings are purely subjective and they are not the result of scientific field surveys. The best way to think about these crop rating is that the ratings are based on what the crops look like from the highway, because that is what it is.

These crop ratings are OK while the crops are still in vegetative development, but they become less reliable as the crops enter into their reproductive cycles. Later in July and August, these visual observations from the highway may not be indicative of the success or failure of corn pollination or how the soybean pods are filling. Therefore, I feel these weekly ratings become less reliable as the growing season progresses into mid and late summer.

Soybeans - The first soybean ratings should be issued next Monday and I expect that the good to excellent rating will be similar to the corn number.