In the most recent Crop Progress report, USDA noted 58% of the corn crop was in good-to-excellent condition as of week 28. While that’s up 1% from the prior week, it’s 13% lower than the five-year average. Similarly, soybeans continue to struggle. Just 54% of the crop was in good-to-excellent condition, 14% less than the five-year average. According to John Newton, chief economist at American Farm Bureau Federation, these are the worst crop conditions since 2012.
“Using the June Acreage estimate of 91.7 million acres of corn planted or intended to be planted, current condition ratings imply that approximately 53 million acres are in good-to-excellent condition, down from 64 million acres in similar condition last year,” he said. “Importantly, the 53 million acres in good-to-excellent condition at this point in the growing season is the second-lowest number of acres in good-to-excellent condition over the last decade, behind only the drought year of 2012, when 30 million acres were in good-to-excellent condition.”
Newton said soybeans aren’t doing much better.
“The estimate of 80 million soybean acres planted implies 43 million acres are in good-to-excellent condition at this point in the growing season – down more than 18 million acres from last year and, as with corn, the second-lowest level over the last decade,” he said.
The chart below shows just how bad crop conditions are.
When the percentage of crops rated good-to-excellent drops, the percentage of crops rated unfavorably increases.
“Based on the acreage estimate, there are more than 11 million corn acres in poor or very-poor condition across the U.S., up nearly 3 million acres from 2018 levels,” Newton said. “Illinois leads the nation with nearly 2 million corn acres in poor or very-poor condition, followed by Iowa at 1.4 million acres and Indiana at 1.3 million acres. Across the Corn Belt more than 7 million acres are in poor or very-poor condition, up millions of acres from prior-year levels.”
The maps below show the amount of corn and soybean acres that are currently rated unfavorably.