The latest USDA crop condition information this afternoon shows that there's been little further decline in crop condition since last week with 23% good to excellent, but on the bottom end there was another 1 percentage point slip to 51% poor to very poor. Cooler weather ahead, may help halt deterioration, but as the ag agency reported Friday, the world is getting less corn from the U.S. this fall.
Illinois, Indiana and Missouri remain the "leaders" in poor quality. In Indiana, 71% of the crop is poor to very poor; in Missouri the number is 84% poor to very poor; and in Illinois 65% of the crop is in the bottom two categories.
Soybeans: With 83% of the crop setting pods, condition ratings actually improved from last week to 30% good to excellent from 29%. Areas getting rains may be getting a late-season boost in quality. 38% of the soybean crop rates as poor to very poor. Will these August rains be enough to pull the crop around and boost returns? That's the $64,000 question facing the industry, and USDA's bearish report Friday doesn't offer much hope for improvement.
Minnesota remains a garden spot with 59%% of the crop rated good to excellent, while Mississippi reports 85% of its crop at the top ratings. North Dakota and Louisiana also report a majority of their soybean crops in good to excellent condition.
Wheat: Spring wheat condition, with 65% of the crop harvested, hit 61% good to excellent, down slightly from 63% last week. South Dakota with 39% good to excellent, and Montana with 41% good to excellent are the only two states where top ratings are below 50% of the crop.
Cotton: Heat and drought aren't dinging the nation's cotton crop too badly - across the board. In fact, rating rose 1 percentage point to 42% good to excellent from last week. Recent southern rains may be making a difference. Georgia and Alabama have seen some severe drought, but report solid cotton condition figures. Georgia has 60% of its crop good to excellent with 11% of the bolls opening; Alabama reports 43% good to excellent with 10% of bolls opening.
Pastures and Rangeland: Devastated rangeland blasted by heat and drought held steady since last week with USDA reporting 17% good to excellent. However, 59% of the nation's pasture and rangeland rates poor to very poor as cattle producers keep buying hay to supplement cow rations.