corn against blue skies

Weekly Commentary: Crop condition ratings drop 1% despite better-than-expected rainfall this weekend


Quick glance:

  • Corn and soybean crop condition ratings both drop 1% 
  • Pro Farmer Crop Tour finds below average crop conditions in Ohio
  • Rain and mild temperatures seen helping Midwest corn and soybeans
  • Trade war and high global supplies pressure prices


Crop Ratings

  • Despite the better-than-expected rainfall over the weekend, corn and soybean crop conditions both fell 1% this afternoon. Corn dropped to 56% good to excellent (GTE) compared to last year's 68% GTE rating. Soybeans dropped to 53% GTE versus last year at 65% GTE. 
  • Focus was also on silking progress. Corn silking rose to 95% vs. 90% last week vs. the 99% five-year average.
  • Soybean blooming jumped to 90% vs 82% last week vs. the 96% five-year average.

Pro Farmer Crop Tour

  • Pro Farmer’s crop tour is underway with one of the first stops in Ohio. The group found below average corn yield in northwest Ohio and reportedly saw "large pockets of unplanted fields."
  • In South Dakota, the group found a corn yield potential average of a little over 147 bushels per acre for the scouted counties. That’s nearly 30 bushels per acre less than last year. Many market participants are anxious to see how the Pro Farmer tour results will compare to the USDA’s unexpected estiamtes last week. Pro Farmer is known for historically going under on estimates. The group will release its yield forecast on Friday.  


  • Rain favored most of the corn belt over the weekend, with the heaviest amounts occurring in southern Minnesota, southern Iowa, western Missouri, and eastern Kansas. The rain exceeded expectations in most areas, particularly in the western Midwest, improving conditions for corn and soybean growth. The rains should lead to additional improvements in soil moisture, favoring corn and soybeans.
  • The 6-10-day forecast has trended wetter since Friday, showing above normal rainfall across most of the corn belt, which should further improve conditions for corn and soybeans. Temperatures will be above normal over the next few days, but cooler weather is expected for the final 10 days of the month, which will limit the potential for any heat stress on the corn and soybean crops.

U.S.- China Trade War

  • Reuters reports, China’s top soybean buyer said they can do without soybean supplies from the U.S. in the fourth quarter and can rely on imports from South America instead, said a government-backed Chinese analyst.  
  • Trade talks continue between President Trump and China with the President recently being quoted as saying the U.S. is “doing very well with China.” The trade is still lacking enthusiasm that any deal gets completed soon as neither side looks to make substantial changes to their base positions. Any resolution around grain tariffs would be bullish for U.S. grain prices as new demand will come back to the market. Right now, the focus is primarily around technology tariffs, licensing, and business participation in both countries.