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U.S. Corn and Soybean Conditions: A Decade Low
Illinois Ag Connection - 09/13/2023

The most recent USDA Crop Progress report reveals that U.S. corn and soybean conditions are at their lowest in a decade, primarily due to expanding dry conditions. As of Sunday, the report noted that 52% of the corn crop was rated as good to excellent, marking a 1% decline from the previous week and a year-on-year drop of 1%. Illinois saw a slight improvement, reaching 58% in the good-to-excellent category, while Iowa fell by 3 points to 46%. Kansas and Missouri reported the lowest ratings at just 31% and 35% in the good-to-excellent category, respectively.

On the soybean front, 52% of the crop received good-to-excellent ratings, down 1% from the previous week and 4% lower than the previous year. Illinois maintained its rating at 58%, while Iowa saw a 5% decrease to 44%. Kansas faced the most significant challenge, with only 23% of soybeans rated as good to excellent.

The dry conditions have raised concerns about the harvest, with grain buyers closely monitoring the situation. Analysts anticipate the USDA may reduce corn yield estimates, impacting global markets due to corn's crucial role in the global food supply chain.

In addition to the crop ratings, corn export inspections increased by 29% in the week ending September 7, while soybean export inspections decreased. These developments are keeping agricultural stakeholders on high alert.

As the new marketing year begins, the corn pace is 4.4% ahead of the previous year, while soybeans lag behind by 21.3%. Wheat inspections are also down by 26%.

River levels on the Lower Mississippi are falling, affecting loading facilities and leading to lower basis levels for farmers using river terminals. Challenges persist as the harvest unfolds, with higher barge freight contributing to the predicament.

Dry conditions continue to cast a shadow over the agriculture landscape, requiring vigilance and adaptive strategies from farmers and stakeholders alike.

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