Yesterday, USDA reported 63% of the U.S. corn crop is in “good” or “excellent” condition. This is below last week’s 66% and last year’s 70%. The condition of soybeans for this date also declined with 56% in “good” or “excellent” condition vs. 60% last week and 68% last year.

Meanwhile, nearly all (95%) of soybeans planted have emerged, putting the pace well ahead of last year’s 77% and the five-year average of 81%.

Corn prices rose 2% last week, but are 14% below year-ago levels. Soybean prices declined 2% last week, but are up 4% year-over-year. Wheat prices were about flat over the past week, but are down 4% year-over-year.

Despite weather concerns with the lack of moisture, Henry Kirn, analyst with UBS Investment Research, has a positive outlook for continuing strong ag equipment sales. In a June 18 note, Kirn said, “Corn, soybean and wheat prices remain well above historical averages. While USDA forecasts 2012 farm cash net income down 6.5% year-over-year, 2012 is still forecast to be the second strongest farm income year on record, behind only 2011. We see strong income as likely to lead to strong equipment demand in 2012 and solid demand in 2013.”

U.S. Crop Progress — June 18, 2012  
  Current Week Last Year Five-Year Average
Corn (% silking) 5% 2% 2%
Soybeans (% emerged) 95% 77% 81%
Spring Wheat (% headed) 33% 1% 7%
Winter Wheat (% harvest) 48% 25% 16%

Percent of Crop in “Good” or “Excellent” Condition — June 18, 2012
  Current Week Last Year Five-Year Average
Corn 63% 66% 70%
Soybeans 56% 60% 68%
Spring Wheat 76% 75% 72%
Winter Wheat 54% 53% 36%