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Double the Usual Corn Silking

USDA reports that as of July 8, 37 percent of the corn crop was silking, more than double the average of 18 percent. And the crop is entering its critical period in better shape than last year, with 75 percent rated good/excellent and only 7 percent poor/very poor, compared with 65 percent and 10 percent last year.

The 18-state rating was within one point of the prior week, shown on the chart below.

corn progress July 2018

A look at the states in our area shows:

Silking July 8 Silking average Good/excellent Poor/very poor
Iowa

35

9

78

6

Kansas

48

34

52

16

Nebraska

31

13

86

3

South Dakota

10

5

74

6

 

Soybeans

Soybean progress also is well ahead of average, with 47 percent blooming and 11 percent setting pods in the 18 reported states, compared with 27 percent and 4 percent on average. Soybean condition also is quite good thus far – comparable to 2014 and 2016.

soybeans progress July 2018

Blooming July 8 Blooming average Pod setting Pod setting average Good/
excellent
Poor/
very poor
Iowa

46

25

7

2

76

6

Kansas

38

15

5

1

51

11

Nebraska

50

34

1

2

83

4

South Dakota

30

31

1

2

68

8

 

Grain Sorghum

The 11-state sorghum crop is running closer to average, with 25 percent heading, two percentage points behind average. However, the Kansas crop is at 6 percent, compared with 3 percent and Nebraska has reached 13 percent, far ahead of its usual 2 percent. South Dakota is slightly behind its 8 percent average, at 5 percent.

The 11 states are rated 51 percent good/excellent, down from 53 percent last week while the bottom range is unchanged at 15 percent. All of the states where we do business are well above average, led by Nebraska’s 81 percent good/excellent, followed by South Dakota’s 80 percent and Kansas at 60 percent.

Wheat

Winter wheat harvest is 63 percent complete, 2 points ahead of average, in the 18 reported states. Kansas, at 92 percent is 7 points ahead of average; Nebraska is at 25 percent, 2 points short of average and South Dakota is at 2 percent, 5 behind average.

With 81 percent of the spring wheat headed (well ahead of the 69 percent average) in the six states, 80 percent is rated good/excellent. South Dakota’s crop falls short of that, at only 51 percent and 14 percent poor/very poor.

Pasture and Range

Pasture and range condition in the 48 states is unchanged from a week earlier at 51 percent good/excellent and lagging last year’s 54 percent. Southwestern states show the largest percentage in the poor/very poor categories. In our service area, Kansas’ ratings are the lowest with 33 percent in the top two categories and 29 percent in the bottom two.

The persistent drought is relatively stable, covering between 40% to 50% of the country for 16 weeks, according to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor. That trend appears likely to hold moving forward, with NOAA’s outlook for July/August/September calling for seasonally warm weather and not many regional precipitation anomalies predicted for the three-month period.

Rain makes Grain

Crop progress continues to run ahead of average, although relatively low percentages have reached reproductive stage in the states we serve:

Corn silking
(2018 vs avg)
Soybeans blooming
(2018 vs avg)
Sorghum headed
(2018 vs avg)
Spring wheat headed
(2018 vs avg)
Reported states

5%

3%

12%

5%

20%

21%

34%

27%

Iowa

4

2

NA

NA

NA

NA

Kansas

13

8

7

1

4

2

NA

NA

Nebraska

2

14

6

2

1

NA

NA

South Dakota

33

18

2

3

1

67

52

 

Corn condition exceeds the past four years and soybean condition matches 2014 and 2016, both of which exceed 2015 and 2017. Note that two of the past years saw minor changes in corn and bean condition through the season and in two years it worsened considerably.

crop progress - corn 2018

crop progress - soybeans 2018

However, yields did not necessarily follow suit. Even though the condition started out lower and then worsened, the 2017 yield exceed the 2014 yields for both corn and beans.

Corn

Soybeans

Stable condition 2014 2016 2014 2016
Bu./acre 171 174.6 47.5 52
Worsening 2015 2017 2015 2017
Bu./acre 168.4 176.6 48 49.1

 

Grain Sorghum

In the 11 reporting states, 95 percent of the grain sorghum has been planted and 20 percent is heading, compared with 91 percent and 21 percent respectively. Condition is rated good/excellent for 56 percent of the crop and 12 percent poor/very poor. Conditions in the states we serve:

     Kansas: 63 percent good/excellent; 6 percent poor/very poor
     Nebraska: 83 percent; 1 percent
     South Dakota: 90 percent; 1 percent

Sunflowers

Sunflower planting is three percentage points ahead of average, at 91 percent in the four reported states. Kansas is 82 percent complete (average 77) and South Dakota is 87 percent complete (84 average).

Spring wheat

South Dakota’s spring wheat condition is worse than the six-state average — 57 percent is rated good/excellent compared with 77 percent for the six states; 10 percent is rated poor/very poor, double the six-state average.

Winter wheat

Winter wheat harvest has reached 41 percent in the 18 states, well ahead of the 33 percent average for this time of year. Due to dry weather, Kansas is 20 points ahead of average, at 52 percent. Harvest is right on average in Nebraska and South Dakota – 1 percent and zero.

Condition is 12 points behind last year at this time, with 37 percent good/excellent this year compared with 49 percent last year. This year’s bottom two ratings total 34 percent, compared with only 16 percent last year. Only 16 percent of the Kansas crop is in the top two ratings, with 46 percent in the bottom two.

Weather conditions

rainfall June 18-24 2018Recent rains have added to soil moisture. As the map from AgWeb shows, ample rains have fallen in the past week in much of our service area.

USDA reports that in the 48 contiguous states, 79 percent of corn has adequate to surplus topsoil moisture, while 26 percent are short or very short. This compares with 69 percent and 31 percent last year at this time. In Iowa, 25 percent of acres have too much water and in Nebraska, 8 percent. Kansas has the most acres – 31 percent — experiencing a water shortage  despite good rains in the last week in some areas.

The Climate Prediction Center’s six- to 10-day outlook shows a high probability of above-average temperatures but also modestly higher odds of rain than normal in most of our states.

Wheat Harvester

Spring crop ratings continue strong

USDA’s weekly progress report as of June 17 continues to portray robust crops. In the 18 reporting states, 98 percent of the corn and 90 percent of the soybeans have emerged – 1 percentage point and 9 points ahead of average for this time of year.

With the exception of Kansas’s drought-plagued crops, corn and soybean condition is ahead of last year:

Good/excellent Corn Soybeans
2018 2017 2018 2017
Iowa 84 78 80 74
Kansas 57 61 56 67
Nebraska 86 78 82 72
South Dakota 66 49 61 48
18 States 78 67 73 67

 

Likewise, the bottom categories claim a smaller percent of the crop in most cases – and particularly in South Dakota.

Poor/very poor Corn Soybeans
2018 2017 2018 2017
Iowa 3 4 3 4
Kansas 6 7 6 3
Nebraska 1 4 2 5
South Dakota 2 17 4 16
18 States 4 8 5 7

 

Grain Sorghum

Eighty-nine percent of sorghum is planted in the 11 states and 18 percent has headed, 1 point ahead of average. All the states in our service region are ahead of average for planting, though the Kansas crop is 2 points behind in heading.

USDA rates the Kansas crop 61 percent in the top categories and 4 in the bottom; Nebraska and South Dakota each have 85 percent in the top categories and zero and 1 percent, respectively, in the bottom categories.

Sunflowers

Sunflower planting is 7 percent ahead of average in the four reported states, at 83 percent complete, with South Dakota also 7 points ahead, at 75 percent complete.

Spring wheat

Spring wheat in the six reported states is 97 percent emerged and 9 percent headed. That represents 2 points ahead of average for emergence and 3 points behind for heading.

USDA rates the overall crop 78 percent good/excellent and 3 percent poor/very poor, against 41 percent and 27 percent respectively last year. South Dakota’s crop is rated 52 percent in the top categories and 11 percent in the bottom. Last year’s numbers for South Dakota were flipped, at just 13 percent and 64 percent.

Winter wheat

In the 18 states, harvest has progressed to 27 percent from 14 a week ago. This compares with 26 percent last year and 19 percent on average.

The condition ratings continue to show almost half (46 percent) of the Kansas crop poor/very poor and 18 percent good/excellent. For the 18 states those figures are 33 and 39 percent, respectively.

Kansas wheat harvest soared from 2 percent finished last week to 23 percent this week as farmers raced to get it out of the heat and wind. It was 19 percent complete this week last year and the average is 11 percent.

This year’s Wheat Quality Council’s winter wheat tour estimate the Kansas crop at 243.3 million bushels, the state’s lowest wheat production since 1989, and a hefty 90-plus million under last year’s crop. Their yield estimate is 37 bu./acre, well under last year’s 48-bu. yield.

On the positive side, the Kansas Wheat Tour reported exceptional protein and good test weights, though yields are highly variable – with one stop on the tour reporting 36 to 75 bu./acre.

Crop Insurance

Clearly, winter wheat is a crop for which there will be claims in some areas this year. Our crop insurance experts remind: Call your crop insurance officer as soon as you detect a loss, keep records by section and don’t commingle old-crop and new-crop before having measurements taken.

corn young closeup

Healthy Corn Equals Happy Farmers

With 94 percent of the corn emerged, USDA rates the condition in the 18 states it reports at 77 percent good/excellent and jut 4 percent poor/very poor. Emergence is 2 to 6 percent ahead of average in our service states and good/excellent ratings range from 60 in Kansas to 86 in Nebraska, while the bottom categories range from 1 percent (Nebraska) to 7 percent (Kansas). The worst crop seems to be in Texas, where 19 percent is in the bottom categories, followed by North Carolina and Missouri, with 17 and 14 respectively in poor/very poor condition.

Soybeans are now 93 percent planted, compared with an average 85 percent. Kansas, at 89 percent complete, is 22 points ahead of average; the other states in our service area all are ahead of average and all are at least 96 percent finished. Emergence also is considerably ahead, at 83 percent vs. an average 69 percent in the 18 states.

USDA rates soybean condition at 74 percent good/excellent and just 4 percent poor/very poor. Kansas ranks lowest in our service area, at 56 percent good/excellent and 6 percent poor/very poor. Nebraska’s crop holds the top spot — 87 percent in the top categories and only 1 percent in the bottom categories.

Grain Sorghum

As with the other crops, sorghum planting is ahead of schedule, at 80 percent planted and 16 percent headed, compared with 68 percent and 12 percent on average. Half the sorghum crop is rated good/excellent in the 11 reported states. Nebraska and South Dakota sorghum is rated 87 and 88 percent in the top categories with none rated poor/very poor. Kansas ratings are 57 percent in the top categories and 3 percent in the bottom.

Sunflowers

Sunflowers are 12 points ahead of the 60 percent average plantings for this time of year in the four reported states. Kansas, at 53 percent, and South Dakota, at 64 percent, are both 15 points ahead of average.

Spring wheat

South Dakota’s spring wheat has emerged and 43 percent is rated good/excellent compared to 9 percent poor/very poor. That is the worst rating of the six reporting states, which average 70 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

Winter wheat

Fourteen percent of the winter wheat had been harvested at the start of the week, 4 points ahead of average. The states in our service area are right on their averages.

Condition is rated 38 percent good/excellent and 35 percent poor/very poor in the 18 states USDA assesses. Almost half of the Kansas crop – 47 percent – is in the lowest two categories and only 16 percent is good/excellent.

Moisture

The long-term Palmer Drought Index as of June 9 shows a few moist areas but continued drought in the Southwest and Kansas. This explains the poor ratings and stressed crops in parts of our service region.

palmer drought index - June 2018

A look at the short-term need vs. available water shows most of the Corn Belt in a mostly balanced situation as of June 9, indicating crops may be getting by in the short term. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration does note that this may not apply to seeds still in the germination phase, when roots are not yet well developed.

crop moisture index by division - June 9 2018

Planting is virtually over; crop ratings are generally good for spring crops

USDA reports corn planting 97 percent complete and soybeans 87 percent. Neither Kansas nor the reporting states – Iowa, Nebraska and South Dakota – served by Farm Credit Services of America, are behind the five-year average (95 percent, corn; 75 percent, beans) on either crop.

Condition is promising, with 78 percent of the corn and 75 percent of the soybeans in the 18 reporting states rated good/excellent. Iowa leads our service states in condition, with 81 percent of corn and 80 percent of soybeans in the top categories. Kansas has the lowest ratings in those categories, at 58 percent and 57 percent. Looking at the ratings of poor and very poor, Kansas is reported at 6 percent for each crop while South Dakota has 7 percent of soybeans in the poor category.

Sorghum

In the 11 states reported for grain sorghum production, planting is 61 percent complete, ahead of its 54 percent average. Kansas is reported complete and Nebraska is 81 percent complete, 12 points ahead of average.

Sunflowers

Sunflowers in the four reported states are 49 percent planted, compared with a 41 percent average; Kansas is 36 percent complete, double its average, and South Dakota, also at 36 percent, is 6 points ahead of average.

Spring wheat

Ninety-seven percent of the spring wheat is in the ground in the six key states, compared with 94 percent on average. South Dakota, at 99 percent, is right on its average. Condition in the six states is 70 percent good/excellent and just 4 percent poor/very poor. South Dakota’s ratings are 58 percent in the top categories and 6 percent poor.

Winter Wheat

Winter wheat harvest is under way in the South and 5 percent complete in the 18 states. That’s one point ahead of average. None of our service area is reported to be harvesting. Winter wheat condition in top-state Kansas is rated 49 percent poor/very poor and just 16 percent good/excellent. Nebraska’s ratings are 8 percent in the bottom categories and 65 in the top; South Dakota 12 percent and 45 percent.

Drought Monitor

The May 29 Drought Monitor map shows very little change from the map we ran last week – that is, concerns remain in the Dakotas and Kansas into Nebraska. The drought tendency for June (map) is a continuation in those areas. A look at the Monthly Drought Outlook for June (map) favors continued (brown) drought and an extension of drought (yellow).

season drought 5-17-2018