October 7, 2003



USDA's Latest Crop Condition Ratings


USDA's crop condition ratings in the US, out yesterday's afternoon, show a slight improvement for corn and a slight decline in soybeans. No surprises there. Corn condition ratings picked up one point in the good and excellent categories, which means now half the crop rates that well. Soybeans lost a point, taking the good and excellent total to 38% of the crop.

The report shows no real surprises in harvest progress for the two crops either, though USDA says farmers are harvesting beans a little faster than traders thought.

Soybean harvest is now 37% complete, trailing the season-average pace by 2% points, largely due to slower than usual progress in Indiana, Ohio and Missouri. The numbers were at the high end of pre-report guesses from traders, who were expecting to see harvest from 32-38%, according to Reuters.

Corn harvest is 27% complete, 5 points behind the five-year average pace. Slow progress in Indiana, Iowa, Nebraska and Ohio are contributing to the lag. The numbers were in line with pre-report estimates of 25-30% of completion.