Agriculture • US Crop Conditions Continue To Suffer
Rain slows deterioration in US corn, soybean crops
The decline in US corn and soybeans slowed as rains providing relief to some parched areas, fostering crop recovery in some states, including Indiana.
The proportion of US corn rated in "good" or "excellent" condition dropped for an eighth successive week, to 24%, the lowest figure since 1988 – and down from a figure of 72% before drought began in early June to wreak crop damage.
The proportion of soybeans in good or excellent health eased two points in the week to 29%, also the lowest reading since 1988, and down from 65% in early June.
‘Crop conditions continue to suffer’
The declines reflected a continued worsening in more north westerly growing states, such as Iowa and Minnesota, which fared better in the early weeks of the crop decline.
In Iowa, "crop conditions continue to suffer as the rain [last week] was too late for some of the corn and winds flattened the weakened crop in some areas", US Department of Agriculture staff said.
"Farmers continue to chop corn," for silage rather than hoping for a crop of grain.
At broker Benson Quinn Commodities, Jon Michalscheck said: "Sharp declines in Iowa, Minnesota, and South Dakota are probably not what the market wanted to see but most likely were expected going into the report."
However, Indiana’s crops, one of the worst hit by drought, staged some reversal, increasing by two points to 9% for corn rated good or excellent, and four points to 16% in soybeans.
"Scattered showers brought temporary drought relief in some northern and east central areas," USDA officials in the state said.
In Wisconsin, both corn and soybean crops improved, as "development jumped in response to recent precipitation".
"Some reporters noted that rain came too late to allow good corn pollination, while in other areas the crop was pollinating normally."
And in Tennessee, "with the exception of corn, crops improved slightly in condition and are rated in mostly fair-to-good condition", thanks to rains.
For cotton, of which the state is a major producer, this meant a four-point increase to 43% in the proportion of the crop rated good or excellent.
However, thanks to deterioration in the crop in Texas, the top producing state, the US cotton crop overall declined, dropping three points to 44% rated good or excellent, more than reversing an improvement the previous week.
In Texas, "in the northern high plains, cotton under pivots continued setting squares. However, dry land cotton in the same area suffered due to lack of moisture", USDA staff said.
"Precipitation was spotty around the state last week, as most areas of the state only received traces of rainfall."
In corn, "there were increased reports of acres being disastered out by insurance companies".
Statistics: Posted by yoda — Tue Jul 31, 2012 6:52 am
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