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Evening Edition | Monday, June 27, 2022

In tonight’s Evening Edition, read about today's USDA Crop Progress Report, chemical shortages facing U.S. farmers, and the potential for drought conditions to extend into July in the Corn Belt.

Corn rated at 67% good to excellent, down 3% from last week

The USDA released its Crop Progress report Monday afternoon, and it showed 4% of corn is silking, right on track with the five-year average. The corn crop was rated 67% good/excellent and 8% poor/very poor.

The report says the soybean planting and emerged rates are on par with the five-year average, although the blooming rate is down slightly. The soybean crop was rated 65% good/excellent and 8% poor/very poor. "These ratings are a little worse than the market was expecting, so this should give the market a little boost in the overnight trade," says Cory Bratland, Chief Grain Strategist/Commodities Broker at Kluis Commodity Advisors. 

Spring wheat is nearly all emerged, but only 8% has headed, down significantly from the five-year average. Winter wheat is 95% headed, but the condition is only 30% good/excellent and 43% poor/very poor. 

'Off the charts' chemical shortages hit U.S. farms

U.S. farmers have cut back on using common weedkillers, hunted for substitutes to popular fungicides, and changed planting plans over persistent shortages of agricultural chemicals that threaten to trim harvests.

Spraying smaller volumes of herbicides and turning to less-effective fungicides increase the risk for weeds and diseases to dent crop production at a time when global grain supplies are already tight because the Ukraine war is reducing the country's exports. Prices are rising to reflect the shortage and it appears the supply situation is far from over.

Drought potential looms into July across Corn Belt

Last week was the driest and fifth hottest final full week of June in more than 30 years, leading to an expansion of dry to drought conditions in the Corn Belt. According to the United States Drought Monitor, the Midwest region went from 9% of the region in dry to drought conditions on June 14, to nearly 25% by June 21. Widespread rainfall isn't expected in the week ahead, which may intensify or spread areas of abnormally dry or drought conditions.

The hot, dry weather has zapped soil moisture with higher evapotranspiration rates. As we head deeper into the growing season, there will be a need for substantial and widespread rainfall as the corn crop matures and enters critical reproduction phases.

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