U.S. soybean prospects have remained nearly steady overall in the past two weeks, according to CropProphet, and the expected U.S. yield remains slightly above trend at 47.5 bushels per acre. However, the stable U.S. outlook masks notable changes in some areas; yields have improved significantly in the northernmost growing areas but have deteriorated significantly in eastern Indiana and western Ohio (see figure below).
The decline in expected yield over parts of Indiana and Ohio is related to excessive rainfall that has led to saturated soils and difficulties with planting and emergence of soybeans (and replanting where necessary). According to the USDA, less than 50% of the Indiana soybean crop had emerged as of June 4. While it is clearly far too early to make confident projections about the final impact of these early challenges, the CropProphet models suggest that the most likely outcome is a significantly reduced yield in the worst-affected areas.
From a broader perspective, soil moisture is currently above normal in more than 95% of the main soybean growing areas (see figure below), and the U.S. Drought Monitor recently indicated the smallest total area of drought in the history of the Drought Monitor product (2000-present). If the weather pattern remains sufficiently wet to maintain ample soil moisture across the Midwest into late summer, then high soybean yields will be favored. CropProphet’s weather outlook component indicates that weather conditions will indeed be favorable overall for at least the next few weeks, as yields are expected to rise in nearly every state (see figure below).
The next update to the soybeans commentary will occur on June 20.