2023 Midwest Crop Tour - Heat/Dryness Overpowered The ECB Crop Count


Market Analysis

This year’s 7-state Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour again highlighted the differences between the western and eastern Mid-west crop output prospects. This spring’s US seedings were timely & ahead of the 5-yr average except for ND being slightly behind because of wet April. However, significant dryness in May & June across the Midwest & Plains stressed many corn fields and reduced this year’s early season soybean growth before rain returned to the Central US in July. This prompted the USDA to shave their initial 181.5 bu US corn yield to 177.5 in July and 175.1 bu in August. They also decreased their US soybeans yield outlook from 52 bu in July to 50.9 bu in August based upon this summer’s low crop ratings and erratic rainfall levels during the growing season.

Looking at corn’s yield components, PF’s 2023 ear population per acre was similar to 2022 in 4 of the 7 states with SD & NE bouncing back from 2022’s drought while MN slipped 4 ears lower than last year. 2023’s kernel rows again averaged near 16 across the 7-state tour. 2023’s ear length appears to be a yield factor. There were modest rises in OH, IN, IL, & NE while IA & MN grain lengths were down. Only SD bounced back big by 1 inch. With IL, IN & OH having higher 2023 tour yields than 2022 & better rainfall recently, Pro Farmer kept their yields near the USDA’s August levels. However, IA & MN shorter 2023 ears and the soil dryness west of the Miss. River prompted cautious state yield ideas in the tour’s 4 western states. Pro Farmer did add 675,000 more harvested corn acres because of seasonal nature of the FAS seeding data. Overall, their US corn yield was projected at 172 bu producing a 14.96 billion bu, which is down 151 million from USDA’s August level.

This year’s tour pod counts bounced back in 4 states while MN was down, and IA & IL were up slightly. However, the better soil moisture in the east prompted the Pro Farmer to keep their state yields near the USDA levels, Concerns about recent heat dropping pods and smaller seed sizes prompted them to reduced IA, MN, NE & SD yields vs the USDA. Overall, their US bean yield slipped to 49.7 bu, down 1.2 bu and 95 million bu from the USDA’s August levels.


What’s Ahead:

The Pro Farmer 2023 crop tour provided some important initial data on the US corn & soybean crops. The USDA probably won’t reduce their US crop estimates to PF levels with the DC just beginning its data collection. Both crops will still need rain to reach their potential over next 2-4 weeks according to the crop scouts.

Hold new-crop beans sales at 50%, corn at 35% and wheat at 45%.

More By This Author:

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USDA May Nip Corn & Soy Yields, But US Weather & Black Sea Are Factors
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Disclaimer: The information contained in this report reflects the opinion of the author and should not be interpreted in any way to represent the thoughts of any futures brokerage firm or its ...

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