Corn, beans see significant improvement

Farm Forum

07/19/16 — The last few weeks, corn and soybean crops have improved significantly in yield potential. That is quite interesting, as the market is trying to dial in weather premium for some adverse weather forecast over the next 14 days (warm and dry during reproductive stages of development). Weather forecasts today are still warm and dry for the next 7 days, but the 8-14 day forecast cools temps somewhat today, and adds a little more precip. That means the stress the next week might be abated somewhat in the following week.

Crop conditions yesterday afternoon were still highly rated for corn and soybeans, with corn rating still at 76% rated G/E (1% moving from Good to Excellent), so the Pro Ag yield model rose a healthy 3.01 bu/acre to the highest of the year at 173.6 bu/acre (which would be a new record large yield). Heat and dry weather this week might hurt us a bit, but soil moisture ratings are still high at 70% adequate/surplus (only down 1% from last week). Subsoil moisture ratings are also still quite high at 72% rated adequate/surplus (down 1% from last week) so we do have some soil moisture to carry us through some dry periods. Corn is 56% silking vs. 46% normally, so we are ahead of normal development and probably running out of time to do significant damage to the 2016 corn crop.

Soybeans are 59% blooming vs. 49% normally, with 18% podding vs. 13% normally. Soybean conditions were rated 71% G/E (with 1% moving from fair to very poor). But the yield model for soybeans also was higher, up 0.17 bu/acre to 46.95 bu, also the highest of the year. So both corn and soybean yield potential improved the past week, now the second week in a row that occurred. Of course, adverse weather could have more impact going forward on soybeans than corn as soybeans are typically ‘made’ during August, so the weather could have more of an impact on soybeans than corn yet.

HRS wheat conditions as we approach harvest are 69% rated G/E, down 1% from last week and last year. But crops still look relatively good, and with harvest just a few weeks off most producers are expecting a good crop. HRS wheat is 96% headed, well ahead of normal 81%. Winter wheat is 76% harvested, ahead of the normal 73% harvested at this time.

Other crops are rated decently, too, with barley rated 73% G/E, down 1% from last week but still up from last year’s rating of 71% rated G/E. Barley is 95% headed vs. only 86% normally, so once again crops are ahead of normal development. Oats is rated 66% G/E, down 1% from last week and also 1% from last year.

One crop that is rated below last year is cotton, with ratings at 54% G/E vs. 57% last year. Cotton is 28% setting bolls vs. 30% normally, and squaring is rated at 77% vs. 76% last year at this time. Sogrhum is 39% headed vs. 33% normally, and coloring is 19% vs. 23% normally. Sorghum crop conditions are 68% G/E, down 1% from last week but still above last year’s 67% rating.

Unless significant damage occurs to the crop in the next few weeks to corn, or bad weather (hot and dry) persists well into August and September, the crop might be quite good in 2016. So far, we seem to be anticipating weather will worsen the crop as we reach maturity (as advserse weather is currently forecast). The past few weeks, though, the corn and soybean crops have improved significantly (corn by 5.5 bu/acre, soybeans by nearly 0.80 bu/acre). What happens if the weather changes and crops actually improve into harvest? Perhaps this is a question that should be pondered as well.