Report shows half of Iowa’s corn and soybean crops ‘mature’

Ag/Outdoor, News

September 18th, 2018 by Ric Hanson

(Radio Iowa) — A warm and dry week of weather has helped Iowa’s corn and soybean crops. Between September 10th and 16th, there was no measurable rainfall at any of Iowa’s National Weather Service stations. Chad Hart, an associate professor of economics and grain markets specialist at Iowa State University, says farmers are thrilled with turnaround – after a very wet start to the month.

“One of the biggest things you worry about is – you like rain to grow that crop, but you like to see that rain sort of stop as we go to harvest that crop,” Hart says. “Because if you get rain now, you can have issues with molds and other things growing on the crop before you get it harvested.”

The new USDA crop report, issued Monday, shows 53-percent of Iowa’s corn is mature. That’s about a week ahead of the five-year average. Nearly three-fourths (73%) of the state’s corn crop is rated in good-to-excellent condition. Soybean fields are also maturing more than a week ahead of normal and three-quarters of those fields are in good-to-excellent condition. Last week, the USDA projected the NATION’s corn production for 2018 at just over 14.8 billion bushels. The forecast for soybeans is 4.7 billion bushels.

“These would be massive crops,” Hart said. “It would be the second-largest corn crop, with the top one in 2016. This would be the largest soybean crop this country has ever seen.” The crop production report released last Wednesday led to a drop in corn prices. Hart says record yields tend to keep commodity prices down.

“At the same time, we’ve got really good demand, it’s just that the supply…is swamping that demand. That’s been the situation for the past several years,” Hart said. The USDA project Iowa’s average corn yield at a record 206 bushels per acre — with an overall harvest of just over 2.6 billion bushels. Iowa’s soybeans are estimated to match the 2016 record of 60 bushels per acre. Iowa is project to harvest 590.4 million bushels of soybeans this year.