USDA Crop Progress Report-- September 20, 2021

Corn condition ratings saw a one point improvement in the national number - moving up to 59 percent good to excellent. However, this rating will quickly become less and less of a factor moving forward as over half of the crop has already reached maturity. Illinois is back to its old tricks from about a month ago as it posted a huge improvement of 12 points! Ohio went up four points and Nebraska went up by two. Corn harvest has already been completed on 10 percent of the nation’s acres - one point ahead of the five year average. As usual, the southern states have made the most progress. Along the I-80 Corridor that runs through the core of the Corn Belt, Illinois leads the way with 11 percent of its corn crop in the bin.

Similar to the corn, with 58 percent of soybeans dropping leaves nationally (indicating maturity), the soybean condition rating will be less important after this week. As of this past Sunday, USDA says 58 percent of the soybean crop is rated good to excellent - a one point increase from last week. Oddly enough, just like it did in the corn rating, Illinois posted a weekly improvement of 14 percentage points while all of the other states in the I-80 Corridor moved up and down within a three point range. Soybean harvestis now pegged at six percent nationally, which is right in line with the five year average. Among the I-80 states, Indiana holds the lead with eight percent now out of the field.

The national cotton condition rating stayed unchanged from last week. However, there were some notable declines in condition in the key growing states of Georgia and North Carolina which both went down eight points. Cotton harvest is now complete on nine percent of the nation’s crop which trails the average pace by two percentage points. Texas leads the way by far with 19 percent of its crop now baled.

Nationally, the grain sorghum (milo) condition slid downward by a single point to 56 percent good to excellent. However, embedded in that national number is a huge drop of 16 points in the good to excellent rating in Oklahoma. Colorado’s crop condition went down by four points. On the other hand, South Dakota’s crop improved by eight points. Grain sorghum harvest has now reached the 25 percent mark which is three points behind the five year average. The vast majority of harvest has taken place in Texas where harvest is 73 percent complete.

Peanut conditions took a nose dive this week - dropping six points on the national summary down to 71 percent good to excellent. The top producing state of Georgia had a large seven point decline along with neighboring Florida which also went down by seven. All of the top five producing states saw declines in their ratings. National peanut harvest progress is now reportedly four percent done which would be only have of its eight percent average at this time of year. Florida peanut harvest leads the way with 17 percent taken out of the field.

The national rice condition rating went up two points to 76 percent, but the crop is now over half harvested, so with the majority of the crop mature, the condition is a moot point. Rice harvest is 51 percent complete nationwide. Louisiana and Texas are both over 90 percent done.

Pasture conditions saw sizable declines in the good to excellent ratings in Texas and Oklahoma as they posted lower numbers by six and seven percent respectively.

We saw a little bit of shuffling in the topsoil moisture deficitcategory this week as Washington state “improved” to only 90 percent short to very short this week - a 10 point increase from a week ago thanks to some much needed rainfall that occurred in some areas. That means Montana now claims the highest percentage of dry topsoil moisture with 95 percent remaining in the short to very short categories.

Montana also has the top spot in the subsoil moisture deficitsection with 96 percent of its crop land rated short to very short. That is two percentage points worse than a week ago. Washington state had a minor five point improvement, but still rates 94 percent short to very short.

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