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Serving: East

Northern crop progress trails the nation

Tall corn field in rain with tractor
WISHFUL PROGRESS: Many northern Corn Belt growers can only wish for corn this tall at this time.
Northeast crop progress: Wet soils continued to hamper corn and soybean planting across the northern Corn Belt last week.

According to USDA’s National Ag Statistics Service data for last week, the U.S. corn crop was 96% in the ground. That’s for the 18 key corn states.

That data, though, doesn’t fully reflect corn or soybean plantings, particularly in the Northern Corn Belt states and Northeast. Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan were far below that national average. In Pennsylvania, only 82% of the 2017 corn crop was in the ground.

Data for smaller corn and soybean producing states in the Northeast wasn’t available for USDA’s June 5 crop progress report. But for the week of May 29, corn and soybean planting in New York still lagged far behind. Only 39% of its corn crop was planted, compared to 75% in 2016 and the five-year average of 72%. Only 16% of intended soybean acreage was planted, compared to 48% in 2016 and the five-year average of 43%.

That, according to industry sources, may pressure dairy farmers to switch to shorter-maturity corn hybrids. A lot of corn — assuming it’s planted — will be harvested late as silage.

My ‘windshield’ survey
Last week, a family business/vacation trip took me across Pennsylvania, Ohio, up the middle of Michigan to Minnesota. In Pennsylvania and Ohio, many planters were running, still trying to catch up on corn and soybean planting. Farther north, the combination of continuing frequent rains and cool weather kept many fields unplanted. That weather pattern continued all the way into western New York and northern Pennsylvania.

TAGS: Corn Soybeans
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