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April 22, 2020

2020 U.S. Planting Progress - Corn 7% and Soybeans 2%

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Cold temperatures last week kept the corn planting at a modest pace. The 2020 U.S. corn is 7% planted compared to 5% last year and 9% average. This represents an advance of 4% for the week. With the cold temperatures across the Midwest and wet weather across the southern U.S., it is no surprise the plating pace was a little slower than normal.

Planting progress in some of the major Corn Belt states include: Iowa 2% planted (7% average), Illinois 8% (11% average), Indiana 4% (3% average), Nebraska 2% (5% average), Minnesota 1% (7% average). Given the current forecast for this week, the corn planting should progress quicker in the western Corn Belt and slower in the eastern Corn Belt.

In their first survey of the U.S soybean planting, the USDA reported that 2% of the soybeans have been planted compared to 1% last year and 1% average. The most advanced soybean planting in the Midwest is Indiana with 2% (0% average), Illinois with 2% (0% average), and Kentucky with 9% (0% average). Soybean planting is further along in the Delta with Louisiana 24% planted (23% average), Mississippi 21% (29% average), and Arkansas 8% (15% average).

There are reports that some farmers chose to plant some of their soybeans before their corn probably because they were concerned about "cold shock" negatively impacting corn germination. Now that it is the third week of April and temperatures are warming up, I don't think any farmer will be hesitant to plant corn if the field conditions are suitable.

I am estimating that the 2020 U.S. corn acreage will be in the range of 95 to 96 million acres and I am going to start off the season with a corn yield in the range of 178.0 to 179.0 bu/ac, which is basically trend line. For the time being, I don't see any reason why we should be overly optimistic or overly pessimistic concerning corn yields. Additionally, approximately 91% of the corn will be harvested for grain.

I am estimating that U.S. farmers will plant 85 million acres of soybeans in 2020 with a soybean yield in the range of 50.0 to 51.0 bu/ac and that 99% of the planted soybeans will be harvested.

Given all the uncertainty in the world today, it is hard to predict how these acreage and yield estimates might change going forward. If anything, I think the corn acreage may end up below expectations and the soybean acreage may end up above expectations.