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Crops Burn, Drought Conditions Match '88

The latest NASS report doesn’t have much good news.

Iowa’s corn crops are rated 23% good to excellent, falling 13% in just one week. Iowa’s soybeans dropped only 10%, rated now as 28% good to excellent.

National conditions aren’t much better. As Joe Glauber, USDA’s Chief Economist, puts it, “35% of the soybean crop, 45% of the corn crop rated poor or very poor. Those are comparable, in fact, the corn numbers are about equal to what they were in ’88 at this point in time and the soybean numbers are actually a little worse than what they were in ’88. So we’ve seen a rapid deterioration over 3 or 4 short weeks such as that the crop is in similar condition to what it was in 1988.”

Topsoil moisture is at 97% short to very short statewide. To put that in perspective, last year’s figure at this time was 24%.

Both corn and soybean futures hit record highs late last week. Corn traded above $8 per bushel for the first time; soybeans passed the $17 mark.