Freeze puts hit on crop quality

images (4) The hard freeze that struck Iowa last week caused the percentage of Iowa’s corn and soybean crops rated good to excellent to decline slightly, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Monday.

“Parts of Iowa received a hard freeze this week with frost reported over most of the state,” the USDA reported.

Farmers said Monday they were unsure how much damage might have been done.

“We had one day when the temperatures went down but I’m not sure if it hurt the crop much at all,” said farmer Kevin Ross of Underwood in western Iowa.

Fifty-five percent of the corn crop was rated good to excellent, down from 57 percent a week ago. For Iowa’s soybeans, the good to excellent rating covered 62 percent of the crop, down from 64 percent a week ago.

Nationally, the good to excellent rated corn fell from 53 percent of the crop to 51 percent, the USDA said. Soybeans rated good to excellent dropped from 56 percent last week to 53 percent.

On the Chicago Board of Trade Monday, corn closed unchanged at $6.92 per bushel after being down as much as 14 cents. Soybeans dropped 19 cents to $13.36.

Arlan Suderman of Farm Futures Magazine said investment funds are pulling back from commodities until the European financial crisis sorts itself out.

“The chatter in Chicago has been over changing supply and demand fundamentals, but each time that chatter proved to be hollow talk to justify a move created by other forces,” he said.

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