May 5, 2009

2 Min Read

Corn producers in the western Corn Belt made decent planting progress last week despite wetter weather, but planting remained largely stalled across the eastern half of the production belt due to further heavy rains.

USDA pegged U.S. corn planting progress at 33% as of Sunday, up from 22% a week earlier and ahead of last year’s pace of 24%, but behind the five-year average of 50%.

Planting progress remained ahead of normal in Iowa, Nebraska and Minnesota as conditions dried enough to allow producers to get in the fields late in the week following heavy rains the previous weekend.

Iowa planting progress advanced 13 percentage points last week to 60%, well ahead of last year’s pace of only 16% and up from the five-year average of 53%, despite heavy rains that produced severe erosion and halted fieldwork for much of the week.

Nebraska producers made rapid progress on corn planting late in the week after soils dried out from early week rains. Nebraska planting progress jumped to 52% from 27% a week earlier and topped the year-ago pace of 27% and the average pace of 42%.

Minnesota producers also made good progress late in the week. The Minnesota corn crop was said to be 59% planted, up from 42% a week earlier and far ahead of last year’s pace of only 7%.

Planting problems continue to be centered in the No. 2 corn-producing state of Illinois, where progress has fallen more than two weeks behind normal.

Only 5% of the Illinois crop was reported planted as of Sunday, up only 1 percentage point from a week earlier and well behind last year’s pace of 25% and the five-year average of 66%.

Weekly statewide precipitation averaged 2.34 in., 1.37 in. above normal, according to the Illinois field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service, which also reported that on average Illinois producers had only one-half day suitable for fieldwork last week.

Illinois topsoil moisture was rated 22% adequate and 78% surplus.

In Indiana, producers were only able to plant 3% of their expected crop last week. Indiana planting progress was pegged at 5% as of Sunday, compared with 32% a year earlier and a five-year average of 47%.

Ohio planting progress was pegged at 13% up from 4% a week earlier, but down from last year’s pace of 28% and the five-year average of 46%.

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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