This week’s USDA Crop Progress report shows 37 percent of the U.S. corn crop at maturity as of Sept. 27, up from 21 percent a week ago, but well below the year-ago figure of 49 percent and the previous five-year average of 72 percent.

Although behind schedule, the crop condition continues to look good, with 68 percent of the national corn crop rated good or excellent, compared with 68 percent last week and 61 percent one year ago.

 “Only 6 percent of the corn crop has been harvested to date compared to a historic average of 18 percent,” says Marty Foreman, Doane analyst. The analyst also points to the overall lagging maturity level. “Illinois is lagging the most at 60 points behind normal in corn crop maturity,” he adds.

Frost concerns are still a factor influencing corn prices. “The corn market remains in a trading range with a slightly upward bias due to lingering frost possibilities,” says Foreman. “Potential frost remains a possibility Wednesday and Thursday of this week in the northeast Iowa, northwest Illinois, Wisconsin and Minnesota areas.” Foreman sees mild impact on corn crop if the frost materializes.

For the soybean crop, the USDA report rates 66 percent good or excellent, compared with 67 percent last week and 57 percent one year ago. The soybean crop is more on-schedule than corn, with 63 percent dropping leaves compared with 65 percent a year ago and a five-year average of 77 percent.

“Expectations for a record soybean crop weighed on futures Tuesday despite concerns about the lagging crop maturity and pockets of frost in the northern Plains overnight," says Bill Nelson, Doane economist. Frost conditions have affected the soybean crop particularly in North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska. “I believe there is some damage resulting from frost which will delay the crop, particularly in the Red River valley area,” adds Nelson. “Depending on the duration of exposure, the frost may have knocked 10 or 20 million bushels off the soybean crop.”

See the full USDA report

Source: USDA,  Doane conference, Drover's