USDA Crop Progress Report-- August 23, 2021


On this week’s report, USDA showed another two percentage point decline in the national corn condition rating, bringing it down to 60 percent good to excellent. Remember how there was so much consternation a couple weeks ago when the Illinois rating unexpectedly improved by 11 points when all the other states around it declined, then last week it dropped five points? Well, Illinois is at it again, dropping seven points this week, bringing the condition down to a point lower than it was at the start of the month. Most of the key corn producing states saw conditions drop at least slightly this week.

Soybean conditions fell by one point down to 56 percent good to excellent. Just like in the corn, Illinois made another correction downward this week as it dropped four percentage points. Nebraska’s condition went down three points this week. On the other hand, Iowa and South Dakota both improved by three points and Minnesota picked up two points.

The national average cotton condition rating improved by four percentage points this week, lifting it up to 71 percent in the good to excellent combined categories. The biggest gainers were North Carolina and Texas gaining seven and six points respectively. Meanwhile, Alabama saw its crop condition go backward by six points this week.

Nationally, the peanut condition rating gained two points as it moved up to 75 percent good to excellent. Florida’s crop improved three points and North Carolina gained two. However, Alabama had a tough week in this crop as well as its rating slid downward by a significant seven percentage points. South Carolina went down by three points.

Grain sorghum (milo) condition improved two points nationally as it climbs to 62 percent in the good to excellent categories. Oklahoma milo picked up five points this week and Texas added three. But, Nebraska saw a three point decline and Colorado trimmed one point.

Rice conditions saw big changes among the key producing states, but as a whole, they averaged out to only a three point gain at 77 percent. Texas improved by 7 points this week and Arkansas was up by six. Missouri posted the biggest decline as it went down seven points. Rice harvest barely moved the needle this past week as it only moved ahead by two percentage points to 14 percent where it lags the five year average pace by two points.

Spring wheat harvest is now over three quarters done - coming in at 77 percent complete. Minnesota leads the way with 98 percent out of the field while South Dakota is close behind at 95 percent.

Pasture conditions continue to be the poorest in the northern Plains and northern Rockies. Montana doesn’t have ANY pasture land that can even muster a single point in the “good” category. North Dakota only has three percent rated good to excellent and South Dakota only has five.

Washington state takes over the top spot when it comes to topsoil moisture deficit. Even though it improved a paltry two points from last week, it still has an amazing 95 percent of its acreage in the short to very short categories. The former leader, Montana, actually improved by nine points to 89 percent this week, so it slides down to third place behind South Dakota which gained two points but still languishes at 89 percent short to very short.

Similarly, in the subsoil moisture deficit category, Washington moves into the top spot with 92 percent of its acres rated short to very short while Montana slides down to a tie with Oregon for second place after Montana improved by five points this week.

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