USDA Crop Progress Report-- September 18, 2023

Crop Progress Graphic

National corn condition ratings dropped one more point in the good to excellent ratings this week, ending up at 51 percent as the crop quickly dries down and combines start to roll. In the I-80 Corridor, Ohio dropped by six points while Illinois came down by three. It’s important to keep in mind that crop condition ratings typically do tend to decline as the crop starts to die down due to its normal maturation process at the end of the season. With over half of the crop already at full maturity (over 10 points ahead of schedule), this will be the last corn crop condition report that we will track this season as focus will turn to harvest progress moving forward.

Corn harvest across the country reached nine percent completion - two points ahead of the five-year average, so we are off to a strong start. In the I-80 Corridor, Nebraska leads the way with seven percent of its crop already out of the field. Illinois is second with six percent. We fully expect rapid harvest progress to be made this week - especially in areas to the south of I-80.

The national soybean condition rating remained unchanged at 52 percent good to excellent. In the I-80 Corridor, Ohio and Illinois both reported a four-point drop in their ratings. Iowa, on the other hand, improved by three points since last week. Outside the Corridor, North Dakota saw its rating decline by six points. Just as in the corn, the soybean crop is already dropping leaves (reaching maturity) on over half the crop, so this will be the last weekly update we will track in-house for soybean condition this year as we will now direct our attention to soybean harvest progress the rest of the season.

Soybean harvest nationwide is pegged at five percent completion compared to its five-year average of four percent. Nebraska leads the way in the I-80 Corridor with four percent of its crop harvested. Iowa checks in with three percent.

Cotton condition ratings nationwide held steady at 29 percent good to excellent. Among the top five producing states, the largest improvement was seen in Mississippi which came up by six percentage points. Alabama gained four points. On the negative side, North Carolina trimmed its rating by six points since a week ago.

Cotton harvest progress is finally starting to expand past Texas. Nationwide, nine percent of the crop is now harvested. The largest producing state of Texas now stands at 20 percent completion which is two points ahead of its average pace. Mississippi now makes the list with three percent of its crop out of the field while Alabama is just getting started with one percent harvested.

The national grain sorghum condition rating dropped one point to 43 percent good to excellent. In the key Plains producing states, Oklahoma took the biggest hit as its rating dropped by four points. South Dakota actually improved by two points. Similar to the situation with corn and soybeans, 47 percent of the nation’s grain sorghum crop has already reached full maturity, so condition ratings won’t mean much after this week.

The national grain sorghum harvest update shows 24 percent of the crop is now in the bin compared to the 25 percent average. The largest producing state of Texas is now 75 percent complete - about in line with its five-year average. Oklahoma and Kansas have both moved up to seven percent and Nebraska makes the list for the first time this year with two percent of its crop now harvested.

Pasture conditions featured some wide swings this week with Oklahoma losing 12 points in its good to excellent rating. Nebraska came down by four, but South Dakota improved by five points. In the Southwest, New Mexico posted a huge improvement of 15 points over last week.

In the topsoil moisture deficit report (generally considered to measure the top four inches of soil representing the seed planting and sprouting zone), New Mexico assumes the mantle of being the driest state with 87 percent of its acres still short to very short on moisture. Washington state now moves into second position with 83 percent.

In the subsoil moisture deficit report (considered to measure deep soil moisture down to a few feet where the crop roots would extend downward), New Mexico is in a tie with Louisiana for the top spot with a rating of 87 percent short to very short. Iowa makes it into the top three with an 80 percent rating.

USDA Crop Progress 230918.pdf

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