The US corn belt - are things really THAT bad??

This report comes from the highly informative University of Illinois Extension website. They've done a tour of the entire Cornbelt and this is what they are reporting. Is it just me or does this not read anywhere near as bad as the Dow Jones's of this world are reporting?

Certainly in the time I've been doing this blog it is noticeable that very often the big media news services regularly churn out the same stuff, in the same order, quoting the same old handful of sources. Given that we are now hearing the opinions of Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley etc questioned in relation to their pontifications on crude oil, could it not just be possible that the same old sources are "talking their own book" when it comes to the grains markets as well??

On with the review of conditions state-by-state:

ILLINOIS: Surplus moisture covers 61% of the state, and only 1% is in the short category. 88% of the corn has emerged, probably meaning 12% has yet to be planted. 82% is fair to good. Only 45% of the soybeans have emerged, probably meaning the other 55% are still in the bag, and 86% of the crop that is up is listed fair to good. Heavy rains have impeded planting progress, but warmer temperatures have helped the crop that is growing.

INDIANA: 99% of the soil moisture is evenly split between adequate and surplus, With severe flooding in central and southern parts of the state with half of the counties rated as flood disaster areas. 94% of the corn has been planted, and 83% has emerged with 77% in fair to good condition. 73% of the soybeans have been planted, and 80% of the emerged crop is rated fair to good.

IOWA: Three-quarters of Iowa has surplus moisture with the balance listed as adequate. 89% of the corn has emerged with only 2% left to plant, however 81% is rated only fair to good. 86% of the beans are in the ground, with 63% emerged and 83% of those are only fair to good condition. USDA reports severe weather has flooded cropland, pasture, and hay, delaying hay harvest and causing a shortage of feed for cattle. Fences have also been washed out, creating problems using pastures.

KANSAS: 90% of the state has adequate to surplus moisture, but is not as wet as states to the east. Subsoil moisture is listed 66% adequate. Wheat is ripening on par with 2007 with 81% reported free of insects and 50% free of disease. Forage, sorghum, and other crops are generally in good condition with farmers reporting plenty of pasture and water.

MICHIGAN: Farming weather prevailed over Michigan with 5 days suitable for fieldwork, and two-thirds of the state reporting adequate moisture in both the topsoil and subsoil. 85% of the barley and 83% of the oats are in fair to good condition. USDA reports, “Warm temperatures and rain this week advanced crop development as well as boosted farmer’s spirits.” Corn and soybean planted is all but complete, crops have emerged, and corn is being side-dressed.

MINNESOTA: Soil moisture is 68% adequate and 31% surplus, but “Crop conditions were rated mostly good to excellent in spite of heavy rains and strong storms that occurred during the week.” Corn and soybean crops were described as continuing to emerge rapidly with the help of average temperatures. Wheat, oat, and barley crops were progressing, but substantially behind recent years in their stage of development.

MISSOURI: Soil moisture is 96% adequate to surplus and about evenly split. That caused crop reporters to say fieldwork was at a near standstill for another week, due to flooded areas and continued heavy rains. Spring tillage remains 22% incomplete, and the rains have delayed corn, soybean, and sorghum planting.

NEBRASKA: 60% to 70% of the topsoil and subsoil has adequate moisture, and most of the rest is rated as surplus, indicating few days suitable for fieldwork in the past week. 95% of the corn crop has emerged and 83% is in fair to good condition. 59% of the beans have emerged and 88% are in fair to good condition. Ratings for planting, emergence, and quality are all behind recent years. 79% of the wheat and 86% of the oats are in fair to good condition. USDA reports, “Strong winds damaged farmsteads and over turned pivots, combined with hail and heavy rains across parts of Nebraska. The storms caused flooding and damage to crops as well as roads.”

NORTH DAKOTA: While 72% of the soil has adequate moisture, 20% is actually short, and nearly 60% of the subsoil is short of moisture. Spring wheat development was about on par with last year, and durum wheat was ahead of recent years. Barley, oat, canola, and sunflower crops were also generally keeping pace with 2007 and the 5 year average. And USDA reports showers in the southeastern part of the state last week were “welcomed.”

OHIO: 57% of the state has surplus moisture with the balance reporting adequate supplies. 92% of the corn and 58% of the beans have emerged, with 75% of the corn and 81% of the beans listed as fair to good condition. 69% of the oats and 76% of the winter wheat were rated in good to excellent condition. Southern Ohio received 3-6 inches of rain, leaving flooded fields that will require replanting.

SOUTH DAKOTA: Heavy precipitation halted fieldwork, leaving one-third of the state with surplus soil moisture and the rest with adequate amounts, but also with reports of flooding and hail damage. Subsoil moisture is in good shape. However crops are significantly delayed in their development compared to last year and the five year average. That includes winter wheat, barley, oats, and spring wheat. Corn planting is 95% complete, and the emerged corn is about half the size of the five year average at this time. While the recent rains delayed fieldwork, the rain was needed for soil recharge.