Cool conditions prevail across much of U.S.

Allexxandar/iStock/Getty Images plant emerging
Conditions expected to change next week, with many growers hoping for rain.

It's been cool over most of the U.S. growing region, according to reports from American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers members.

The ASFMRA gave its first-ever crop conditions report on May 14 with future reports planned for June, July, August and October. The webinar focused on corn, soybeans and wheat.

Here's a look crop conditions across the United States:

Eastern Corn Belt

It's been cold throughout the eastern Corn Belt, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, said Bill Varano, an ag consultant with Agro Systems in Tamaqua, Penn. New Jersey had frost last night. It's been tough to plant soybeans with the cool weather conditions. Moisture conditions are good throughout the area.

"We need heat," Varano said.

Soil temperatures in Maryland are running around 50 degrees, with soil temperatures in Pennsylvania close to 50. About 65% of the corn has been planted in Pennsylvania, with 75% planted in New Jersey. All the corn that has emerged looks good, he said.

It's been cold in Michigan too, with frost in many places. It's also wet in many places in Michigan, Varano said. He's expecting heat starting today and extending for the next two weeks.

Illinois, Indiana

The conditions are similar across much of Illinois. "We're still cold, those north winds are blowing in like crazy," said Rick Hiatt of Hiatt Enterprises in Pontiac, Ill.

They would have been classified as dry until 10 to 14 days ago, but they've been getting ideal rains. The subsoil remains dry, and growers remain dependent upon timely rains. About 95% of the corn and 85% of the soybeans have been planted in the region and "it's really shot up," he said. The soybeans don't appear impacted by three days of hard frost.

Breaking the region out into northern Illinois, central Illinois, western Indiana and northwest Indiana, those conditions look pretty good, and a lot of the crop is planted, Hiatt said.

In southern Illinois, eastern Indiana and southern Indiana, it is a different story with very wet and cold conditions. In some parts of southern Illinois or southern Indiana, crops are not planted.

"We're looking at some spotty situations in those areas of Illinois, Indiana, but I would say overall, we're way ahead of the last two years," Hiatt said.

Iowa, Missouri

It's been cold and dry in most parts of Iowa, said Scott Borcherding of Agri-Management Services of Marion, Iowa. Generally, when looking at Missouri and Iowa, the further north you go, the drier it is. In Missouri, rains have delayed planting in some northern regions of the state. Missouri is behind Iowa in soybean planting, but farmers plant beans into June in the state. The forecast looks promising with more moisture chances and warmer weather forecast.

Minnesota, Dakotas

There's a lot of different growing conditions across Minnesota and the Dakotas, said Corey Prins, of Northwestern Farm Management in Marshall, Minn. Generally, Minnesota is in pretty good shape moisture wise, it's been drier, but drought areas are not showing up in significant amounts on the Drought Monitor map. That fictitious line between Minnesota and the Dakotas is almost where the line of the Drought Monitor changes with areas further west significantly drier.

Drought Monitor

Southern Minnesota farmers took advantage of the dry weather to plant, with planting nearly complete across the region. In northern Minnesota, however, they've had significant cold weather and corn planting is in the 50% to 60% completed range. In the Dakotas, corn planting is 70% to 75% complete. Soybean planting is 85% in southern Minnesota, with planting expected to wrap up next week. In the northern part of the state, soybean planting is 30% to 40% complete, due to cold conditions.

The northern region of the state and North Dakota are significant growing areas for spring wheat and there has been some replanting due to cold and dry conditions.

"We have very good yield potential, but we're gonna need very timely rains across the entire region," Prins said.

Nebraska, Kansas, Colorado and Oklahoma

In very southwest Nebraska, it's dry with drought conditions and in northeast and eastern Nebraska and the Denver area it's very wet, said Dave Bartlett of Bartlett and Company. It is dry in central Kansas, with adequate moisture in eastern and western Kansas and Colorado. Moisture is adequate in western Nebraska and the Pandhandle.

Soil temperatures are lower than normal, with most areas five to 10 days behind in planting. InĀ  central Kansas, a lot of corn is in and in western Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado, about 50% to 60% of the crop is planted, he said.

The wheat looks very good in the region.

Corn planting continues in parts of Texas and Oklahoma while further south the corn crop is tasseling, said Wendell Wood of Kokel-Oberrender-Wood Appraisal. The wheat crop is headed out and starting to change color in central and south Texas. Overall, moisture conditions in Texas are dry in the north and improving south.

Arkansas, Louisiana

Doug Hartz of Hartz Farm Management in Stuttgart, Arkansas, said soils are still cold with above average moisture in many cases, which has limited fieldwork. In southern Arkansas and into Louisiana, farmers are planting on time. Heat units are needed to get the crop going. Some areas will take prevent plant because storms last fall damaged fields and there hasn't been time to get the fields into shape. More wheat was planted last fall with farmers making the choice because of increased options for weed control and the ability to double-crop soybeans.

Pacific Northwest

It's been dry across the Pacific Northwest, said Christian Minard of Northwest Farm Credit Services. Wheat is 95% planted and emerged with persistent wind a major negative for growers in the area. Rain would be welcome, he said.

Additional observations

Some producers are switching corn-on-corn acres to soybeans, but most farmers are holding to their 50-50 rotation. The other thing noted was an increase in growers planting soybeans before corn.

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