Continued stable corn/bean yields

Farm Forum

8/02/16 — Corn and soybeans seem to have stabilized in yield potential the past few weeks, with the yield models of both crops creeping slowly and so slightly higher each of the past 2 weeks. This week, the crawl slowed considerably due to warm weather and only scattered showers throughout the Corn Belt. But it was enough to keep yield models from declining, too. So we have a relatively stable corn and soybean crop as we move through the threatening weeks of the summer, when critical summer weather can normally have quite an impact on yield potential. But this year, so far the yield potential has been stable.

Crop conditions yesterday afternoon indicated corn conditions were steady at 76% rated G/E, with 1% moving from G to Excellent and 1% moving from fair to poor. But these changes were small, and left the corn yield model at just a minor change of 0.14 bu/acre to 174.4 bu/acre. In other words, corn yields were about unchanged in yield potential last week. Corn development remains ahead of normal, with 91% sliking vs. 85% normally at this time, or 6% ahead of the normal pace. Corn dought percentage is at 30% vs. 25% normally, as southern states are starting to get more mature and nearer to new crop corn harvest.

Soybean conditions actually improved 1% to 72% G/E (1% moved from fair to excellent). But the yield model was little changed as well, with yields up 0.14 bu/acre just like corn to 47.17 bu/acre, another small change from last week. So essentially corn and soybean yield potential was little changed from last week, as the warm temps and dry weather in some areas offsets the rainfall in other areas. Soybeans are also remaining ahead of normal in development, with 85% blooming vs. 79% normally (about 6% ahead of the normal pace), and 54% are setting pods vs. 44% normally (about 10% ahead of normal pace).

HRS wheat harvest is underway, and is being conducted with little interruption due to rain as it’s been fairly dry in HRS country. Ten percent of HRS wheat crops are harvested vs. 9% normally, and 89% of winter wheat is harvested vs. 86% normally. So wheat prices might finally be near a bottom as the harvest is about over (at least for winter wheat). This might be especially true if corn and soybean yields do not change much from here on into harvest (as they have stabilized lately). HRS wheat conditions remain at 68% G/E, unchanged from last week but down from 70% last year at this time. The HRS wheat tour indicated this year’s crop will be down a bit from last year, and that seems consistent with the crop ratings at this time. Barley harvest is also under way, with 11% harvested vs. 8% normally at this time, and barley conditions were down 1% from last week at 72% rated G/E, up from 68% last year at this time.

Other crops are similar in ratings, with cotton at 50% rated G/E, unchanged from last week but down from last year’s rating of 57% G/E. Sorghum is rated 66% G/E, up 1% from last week but down from 68% last year’s rating at this time. Oats are similar, with unchanged ratings this week at 64% rated G/E, but down from last year’s 68% rating. So the other minor crops are rated a bit worse than last year at this time due to various factors.

Today’s weather models are fairly stable from yesterday, showing a bit cooler for the 14 day forecast as it did on Monday. There might be a little less precip in the 8-14 day forecast than yesterday, though, with temps still above normal in the next 7 days. But so far that has not seemed to hurt yield potential of the corn and soybeans, although they haven’t increased much either based on yesterday’s yield model.

As long as weather continues to improve, look for price pressure on grains, with soybeans leading the way as soybean crops are made during the August weather during pod fill.