Condition of U.S. soybeans worsens as drought continues

A chart showing how the drought is leading to a rapid decline in U.S. soybeans rating of "good to excellent", year 2012.

A major part of the Midwest—extending from Kansas to Ohio—has been unusually dry during a formative period for crop development. The worst dryness stretches out from the Ohio River Valley, where June precipitation was less than half of average. Overall, only 40 percent of U.S. soybeans were rated in good-to-excellent condition as of July 8th. This is a sharp deterioration from 60 percent a month earlier and is the lowest percentage for this date since 1988. Given these circumstances, USDA lowered its expected 2012 soybean yield to 40.5 bushels per acre from 43.9 bushels last month. Although the harvested acreage estimate for soybeans was raised to 75.3 million acres, a lower expected yield reduces the 2012 production forecast this month by 155 million bushels to 3.05 billion. This chart is found in the July 2012 Oil Crops Outlook, OCS-12g.

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