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Corn Planting Slips Behind Normal


Monday’s weekly crop update from USDA showed that U.S. corn planting progress slipped behind normal last week as cool, wet conditions continued to keep many producers out of their fields.

Planting delays are likely to worsen over the next couple of weeks, with much of the Midwest too wet for fieldwork after weekend rains and more rains expected across the Corn Belt over the next five days.

USDA pegged U.S. planting progress at 7% compared with a five-year average of 8% and last year’s record pace of 16%. The trade had anticipated that progress would be even with the five-year average.

Illinois is still the only top-five corn producing state where notable planting progress has taken place. Fieldwork activity in that state was normal last week with producers planting 5% of the crop to push overall planting progress to 9%, in line with the five-year average, but well behind last year’s 29%.

Iowa producers were able to start planting early last week, but cooler weather and rainfall halted activity at midweek. Iowa corn was 2% planted as of Sunday compared with 16% a year earlier and the average pace of 6%.

Indiana’s corn crop was 2% planted as of Sunday compared with 15% a year earlier and a five-year average of 4%.

Minnesota, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin all reported no significant planting activity.

Producers are likely to make little headway on planting this week as forecasts call for rainfall amounts totaling of 1-1½ in. or more from eastern Nebraska eastward across heart of the Corn Belt

Temperatures will also remain too cool for planting across the upper half of the Corn Belt with highs expected to stay in the 40s much of the week across the Dakotas, Minnesota, the northern half of Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan.

The six- to 10-day forecast is not very encouraging either as it calls for above-normal rainfall across the central and eastern Corn Belt with normal rainfall in the western Belt.


Editor’s note: Richard Brock, Corn & Soybean Digest's marketing editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

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