Record slow progress planting corn and soybeans is nothing new for a market trying to figure out just how much flooding could lower production this year. But the impact of heavy rains finally showed up in winter wheat ratings following very heavy storms over parts of Kansas and Oklahoma last week.
USDA reported lower winter wheat ratings Tuesday for the first time all season, the first crack in what to date were expectations for very good yields. Instead, ratings knocked a half-bushel of yield potential off the crop according to our models, with states from Indiana to Colorado and the Pacific Northwest suffering.
While the average of our two models still shows hope for yields of 50.5 bushels per acre, more wet weather and rising temperatures could slash both quality and quantity of the crop farmers will harvest this summer.
Ratings improved in only three states, Montana, Nebraska and Ohio, while holding steady in California and Texas.
Troubles with wheat come as worries mount about both corn and soybeans. Farmers seeded just 9% more of their corn crop last week, according to USDA, bringing the total to only 58%. The previous low for this week was 71% in 1995. Only Texas was ahead of normal. The eastern Corn Belt continues to suffer the most. Illinois is only 35% planted, 60% behind the five-year average, with Indiana and Ohio both at 22%.
Emergence is also an issue in a year where some fields have been slow to warm. USDA said 32% of the crop is out of the ground, 37% behind normal. Even Texas was only even with its five-year average and every other major state was behind. Michigan, Ohio and the Dakotas are all in single digits on emergence.
Progress is also still slow for soybeans. USDA put planting at 29%, up 10% from the previous week, but 37% behind average. Every state except North Carolina is behind, with this week’s progress the slowest ever according to USDA records.
Soybean emergence is 11%, 24% behind normal.
With drier weather last week on parts of the northern Plains, farmers made headway again with spring wheat. USDA said 84% of the crop is seeded, up 14% from the prior week but still behind by 7%. All six major producing states are behind average.