Corn prices reached a record high on July 30 as USDA's weekly survey showed nearly half of Iowa's 2012 crop is in poor to very poor condition. Corn for September delivery rose 21.5 cents to end the day at $8.20 per bushel, an all-time high.
Only 20% of Iowa's 2012 corn crop rates "good to excellent"—that's 19% good and 1% excellent as of July 29. Condition of the state's soybean crop is just 24% good and 1% excellent. That's according to the weekly Iowa Crops & Weather report issued July 30, which is based on statewide surveys as of July 29. The overall condition of the U.S. crop currently is corn 24% good to excellent and soybeans 29% good to excellent.
Grain prices have been ignited by private yield estimates that the nation's corn crop could amount to as little as 125 bushels per acre, which would be more than 20 bushels per acre less than last year and 40 bushels per acre less than in 2010.
Weekly survey shows 46% of Iowa's corn crop in "poor to very poor" condition
In Iowa, state climatologist Harry Hillaker says preliminary data shows July is on track to be the third-hottest and fifth-driest July in 140 years of recordkeeping. Even with last weekend's rainfall, only July 1936 and July 1901 will go down as hotter than this year. Only 1936, 1975, 1930 and 1947 are drier than 2012.
Iowa went into the last day of July 2012 more than 3 inches behind the normal 4.2 inches of rain for the month. The state has received 5.7 inches of rain less than the 9.1 inches it normally receives in June and July, the critical time for corn pollination. As a result, 46% of Iowa's corn crop is now in poor to very poor condition. The weekly USDA survey shows just 20% of Iowa's corn is good to excellent. A year ago, 4% of Iowa's corn was rated poor to very poor and 80% was in good to excellent condition.