Let’s talk crop conditions, based on this week’s U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Crop and Weather Summary, as well as some observations from an Ag chemical representative based in Wisconsin.
AUDIO: Profit Matters 7-10-18
The heat units may be the most unusual aspect of the 2018 crop. We were a week behind at planting, and now we’re a week ahead of schedule.
The yield potential is expected to jump again. Those results will be posted in USDA’s July Supply and Demand report on Thursday.
Nationwide, the description of the United States’ corn crop condition is still excellent, falling just one-percent last week to 75%, right on the trade’s expectation. The five-year average is 71%. A 75% rating for this particular week would imply a five-point-eight-percent boost over the 20 year trend yield. Thirty-seven-percent of the crop was said to be silking, well ahead of the 18% average. Iowa is 78% good-to-excellent.
Soybean good-to-excellent ratings were unchanged from last week at 71%. The trade was expecting a one-percent decline. Iowa is 76% good-to-excellent.
Average estimates for Thursday’s USDA Supply and Demand report have analysts looking for an increase to corn production over June at 14.269 billion bushels with a yield of 174.9. Soybean production is estimated at 4.314 billion bushels with a yield of 48.6. All wheat production is estimated at 1.858 billion bushels.
Yields are rarely changed on the July USDA report. A study by Rich Nelson, of Allendale Inc., found that USDA changed corn yields just five times in the last 20 years on this week’s report. Soybean yields were changed just three times. The most recent change year was the 2012 drought.
Iowa has some dry areas in the south and south east and some wet areas in the northwest and north central.
But, the story in Wisconsin and Michigan is bizzare this year. Good, but strange I guess.
I spoke with Wade Oehmichen who works as a crop innovation specialist for BASF in Wisconsin. I asked him to describe his territory and the current conditions as he has witnessed them first hand.
Oehmichen describes it as a bizzare year with corn tasseling by July 4 in areas and some soybeans no more than six inches high. He feels it could be a record year for corn with plenty of moisture and substantially greater heat units.