USDA Crop Progress Report-- July 18, 2022


In this week’s report, USDA surprised many people when they left the national corn condition unchanged yet again from the previous week at 64 percent good to excellent. Most market watchers and trade analysts were expecting to see a drop in condition ratings from a week ago. In the I-80 Corridor, Illinois managed to post a four point improvement and Nebraska went up by one single point. But, Ohio and Indiana both dropped by three and two percentage points respectively. Outside that corridor, Minnesota picked up a couple of points, but we should note that there were some sizable declines in condition, too. For example, Pennsylvania nosedived by 12 points, Kansas dropped by nine, South Dakota sank by six, Missouri declined by five, and Colorado and North Dakota both went down by four. The national soybean condition rating declined by one point again this week - putting it at 61 percent good to excellent. In the I-80 Corridor, ALL of the states saw a decline in conditions compared to last week with Indiana going down by three points while Nebraska dropped by two. The other states in the corridor all lost one point. Outside this region, North Dakota reported a six point decline.

Cotton condition nationwide slid downward by one point to 38 percent good to excellent. Of the major producing states, North Carolina showed a five percentage point increase in its rating and Georgia went up by three points. On the flip side, Mississippi reported a large drop of nine points in its good to excellent rating. The largest producing state of Texas stayed unchanged at only 21 percent, but I continue to hear numerous reports of field abandonment due to ongoing drought.

Grain sorghum condition nationwide dropped five points to only 35 percent in the good to excellent categories. That was mainly due to Kansas going backwards by 10 points while South Dakota declined by eight and Nebraska by five. Oklahoma was able to muster a three point increase in its good the excellent rating.

Rice condition had a huge divergence in its state ratings this week while the overall national average rating showed a five point drop down to 72 percent good to excellent. Among the top producing states, Texas showed a 12 point increase in its rating, but Mississippi and Arkansas saw 12 and 11 point declines respectively while Missouri trimmed off another four points this week.

Peanut condition improved by four points nationwide to place it at 67 percent good to excellent this week. Most of the key producing states saw significant increases in their crop ratings - running from six to nine points higher with South Carolina capturing the largest upward move of nine percentage points. Alabama still has the best rated crop overall, but it did trim its good to excellent rating by a single point.

The national spring wheat condition rating improved by one point to 71 percent good to excellent. Most states saw improvements in their crop conditions this week with Montana reporting a six point gain and Minnesota came up by two. On the negative side, Idaho saw a three point decline and North Dakota went down by two.

Winter wheat harvest has reached 70 percent completion nationwide as of Sunday compared to the five-year average of 71 percent. Harvest is now in full swing in Nebraska where 61 percent of the crop is now out of the field. South Dakota has gotten off to a good start with 25 percent harvested. Recent rains have been a complicating factor, but hot, dry weather expected this week should alleviate that problem.

Pasture conditions in the Plains were lower across the board with the exception of Texas which held steady at its dismal rating of only two percent in the combined good to excellent categories. Oklahoma and Kansas both reported seven point declines in their pasture conditions compared to last week. South Dakota came down by five points and Nebraska went down four. Nebraska’s neighboring state of Wyoming posted the biggest loss in quality this week as it sank by 11 points. Montana also registered a six point decline.

In the topsoil moisture deficit category (generally considered to measure the top four inches of soil representing the seed planting and sprouting zone), Texas continues to have a lock on the top spot with 94 percent of its acres rated short to very short on moisture. Arkansas remains in second place with 90 percent of its acres in the short to very short categories. One of the more noteworthy moves was Oklahoma which saw another nine percent decline.

In the subsoil moisture deficit category (considered to measure deep soil moisture down to a few feet where the crop roots would extend downward), Texas again claims the top spot with a 94 percent deficit rating - even though it had a slight one point improvement over last week. In a rather surprising move, Arkansas jumped into the second driest position as its moisture levels dropped by a whopping 12 points bringing it to 89 percent short to very short.

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