Crop Progress USDA’s latest Crop Progress reports indicate that the overall picture for the corn and soybean crops continues to improve. As a result, the accuracy of the ag agency’s record-setting yield estimates could be right on the mark. Corn yield projections were raised to 175.1 bushels per acre, up from 168 bushels estimated in the July report. Soybean yield estimates were also raised to 48.9 bushels per acre, another record breaker, up from 46.7 bushels the previous month.

As of Aug. 21, USDA estimates that 85% of the corn crop is at the dough stage. This compares with 81% a year ago, 73% on Aug. 14 and 5-year average of 76%. Corn dented estimates came in at 40% as of last Sunday, 21% a week earlier and 34% a year ago. The 5-year average is 35%. The condition of this year’s corn crop was 75% “good” (54%) or “excellent” (21%) vs. 69% “good” (50%) or “excellent” (19%). It was also up 1% from the previous week’s rating of 74% “good” (53%) or “excellent” (21%).

USDA estimates that as of this past Sunday, 89% of the soybean crop was “setting pods” vs. 80% the previous week, 85% a year earlier and the 5-year average of 85%. The condition of U.S. soybeans remained at the same high level as the previous week as 72% were rated as “good” (54%) or “excellent” (18%). This compares with the 5-year average of 63% “good” (49%) or “excellent” (14%).