US soybean crop conditions over the years

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US Crop Update July 6

This week, the US crop update shares insights into the current drought status, the impact of historical and forecasted weather, and last but not least, the latest crop conditions updates with a comparison to the past years.

Drought status

The drought situation has improved slightly compared to one week and one month ago. Although the number of states experiencing drought decreased over last month, the number of acres experiencing drought have decreased by almost 6%. data shows the statistics below.

Many of the drought areas in the lower 48 states are experiencing short and long term effect from the drought (SL rating in the map the below).

While the areas in light green in the map below have shown an improvement in drought class since last week, most of the USA, has seen no change (grey color). Several areas in the Northwest have seen their drought situation worsen (yellow color) in the past week.

Drought change over the last week in the contiguous USA
Drought change over the last week in the contiguous USA.


The widespread precipitation events in Montana, Washington, and Oregon from a couple of weeks ago did not have a lasting impact. The image below shows the Standard Precipitation Index (SPI) over the last 30 days. It shows that many areas in the Northern USA experience a lower than normal SPI, which is correlated to a lower than normal soil moisture.

30 day rain change from normal SPI index
On short timescales, the SPI is closely related to soil moisture, while at longer timescales, the SPI can be related to groundwater and reservoir storage. The SPI can be compared across regions with markedly different climates. The SPI can be measured over period ranging from 1 months to 36 months.

The precipitation has been far from normal in most of the USA in the last 90 days. It either did not rain enough or it poured.

The map below highlights the variation in rain over the central USA, emphasizing the wetter South, Southeast.

7-day precipitation in the Midwest

The map below shows the amount of precipitation over the last 60 days for the central USA.

60 day precipitation

The map below shows the percentage of normal precipitation for the last 60 days over the central USA. 

60 day precipitation percentage of normal


Hot weather continued in the Northwest, West, and Northeast leading to expanded drought conditions. 100-Degree temperatures in the Dakotas caused a good deal of crop damage that subsequent rains will not be able to fix. The data from the last months shows that the North/ Western part of the USA is significantly warmer than average, while the South/Southeastern part is cooler than normal.

departure from normal average maximum temperature

Weather Outlook

The near-term forecast for the Midwest is for a cooler and wetter week. This will help reduce crop stress as corn starts to head into pollination. The longer-term forecast predicts continued higher temperatures for the North and West and lower temperatures for parts of the South.


Both the forecast for the next 10 days and until the middle of August, show warmer than normal temperatures in large areas of the USA. The Pacific Northwest is forecasted to have much higher temperatures. The temperatures in the middle and south of the USA are predicted to be below normal.

10 day temperature difference forecast
Temperature anomaly forecast until July 16, 2021.
Long-term temperature difference forecast
Temperature anomaly forecast through August 20, 2021.


The near-term weather forecast shows good rainfall across a large area of the corn-belt, especially for Iowa and Minnesota. Also, cooler conditions are expected with the rain.

Near-term rain forecast
Forecasted precipitationin inches until July 13 for the Eastern half of the USA.
Longer term precipitation outlook
Latest ECMWF Longer-Term Forecast until August 20th predicts a wetter outlook across Dakotas, Minnesota, and Nebraska.

Crop conditions and trading

Northern Illinois corn and soybeans are progressing into reproductive crop growth stages. Most herbicide and fertilizer applications are made for this year. Crop disease pressure looks to have more potential from Missouri and Illinois into the eastern corn-belt, with dry weather elevating insect pressure in the northern and western areas of the corn-belt.


Corn crop condition July 6, 2021
Corn crop condition July 6, 2021

The chart below shows the percentage of corn in Good to Excellent condition over the years in the same week. The corn quality is below most years in the last decade, but it is in better shape compared to 2019 and 2012.

US Corn Crop condition percentage G to E
Corn field growing in July 2021


Soy crop condition July 6, 2021
Soybean crop conditions, July 6th 2021.

The chart below shows the percentage of soybeans in Good to Excellent condition over the years in the same week. The soybean quality is below most years in the last decade, but it is in better shape compared to 2019 and 2012.

US Soy Crop condition percentage G to E
Soybean field growing in July

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