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US soybean crop quality shows signs of improvement on recent rains: USDA

Highlights

Good-excellent crop rating at 60%

South Dakota crop conditions improve

63% blooming vs five-year average of 57%

US soybean crop quality for 2021-22 marketing year (September-August) has improved slightly week on week as the northwestern parts of the Midwest, especially South Dakota received some rains in the past few days, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

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Out of the planted beans, 60% were rated as good-to-excellent, up 1 percentage point on the week, but 9 points lower on the year, the USDA said in its crop progress report July 19. The crop ratings in South Dakota have improved a percentage point on the week at 29% good-to-excellent on recent rains. But they are still way below the national average, the report said.

Although, the prolonged drought in the Dakotas has led to a substantial decline in soil moisture conditions, the eastern parts of South Dakota received substantial rains in recent days, leading to slight improvement in crop quality in the state.

In eastern South Dakota, for example, month-to-date rainfall has totaled more than 2 inches in locations such as Sioux Falls and Watertown, USDA said said in its weather report July 12.

In contrast, July 1-11 rainfall totaled less than one-quarter inch in Grand Forks, North Dakota (0.07 inch); Redwood Falls, Minnesota (0.12 inch); and Waterloo, Iowa (0.14 inch), the USDA's weather report said.

According to the report on July 19, 63% of the planted crops have started blooming, up 1 percentage point week on week and 6 percentage points above the five-year average, the USDA's crop progress report said. In addition, 23% of the planted crop have entered the pod-setting stage, unchanged year on year, but 2 percentage points higher than the five-year average.

The US soybean crops have reached a critical stage and will require favorable balance of rains and dry weather in the second half of July to foster growth. The current prediction in the Midwest – top soybean producing region in the country – seem to present a dry weather forecast for the planted soybeans.

Late in the week ending July 24, temperatures could reach 100°F as far east as the central Plains and the western Corn Belt, the USDA said in its latest weather report July 19. Little or no rain will be there during the next five days in an area stretching from the southern Corn Belt to the mid-Atlantic, it said.

Soybean planting in the US generally begins by mid-April. Sowing in the Midwest starts in late April after recovering from the winter freeze and wet soil.

The USDA surveyed 18 soybean-producing states in the country, which accounted for 96% of the 2020-21 soy acreage, the report said.

The farmers had finished soybean planting on the intended soybean acreage of 87.6 million acres for the 2021-22 marketing year (September-August) through June 27, which is a week ahead of last year and 5-year average, according to the USDA.

A faster-than-average soybean planting is likely to support the yield and overall production forecast.

According to S&P Global Platts Analytics, the US soybean production forecast for 2021-22 was seen close to 122 million mt, up 8% on the year and one of the largest volumes in a decade.

The US is the world's second-largest soybean producer and supplier, behind Brazil.