Iowa Public Television


U.S. Crop Progress Good, but Markets Still Volatile

posted on July 18, 2008

Showers and mild temperatures in the Midwest have been helping this year's crop make up for lost time. The moderating weather may have some influence on the case pending in the U.S. District Court in Seattle as to how many -- if any -- of the 24 million Conservation Reserve Acres, or CRP, will be opened for haying and grazing. The district court judge has given The National Wildlife Federation and USDA, the combatants in the case, until Tuesday of next week to create a compromise.

Even as back room wrangling over what to do was in progress a favorable weekly crop report was issued by USDA which may have influence on pushing commodity prices even lower.

U.S. Crop Progress Good, but Markets Still Volatile Despite the impact of torrential rains and flooding in the Midwest earlier this summer, row crops -- in general -- are doing well.

According to the Agriculture Department, 64-percent of the corn crop is in good to excellent condition. That's right in line with a year ago at this time.

59-percent of the nation's soybeans are rated in good to excellent condition...Slightly poorer than last year.

Favorable growing conditions were prevalent in much of the "Grain Belt" this week. Coupled with USDA's prognosis that earlier crop damage is less serious than originally believed, the markets continue to take a beating.

Despite a late-week rally in some sectors, all the major grains traded sharply lower this week.

With the cool, wet spring relegated to a distant memory, the trade now shifts its focus to the next critical phase. Crops will need to get through pollination without getting too hot or too dry. As of this week, just 13 percent of the nation's corn crop is in the silking stage...down from 50-percent at this time last year.

Tags: agriculture crops markets news