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April 24, 2019

2019 U.S. Corn 6% Planted vs. Average of 12%

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

It looks like this will be the best week for planting thus far this spring. The temperatures are warmer and the rainfall should be lighter this week, at least across some of the Corn Belt.

As of this past Sunday, the 2019 U.S. corn crop was 6% planted compared to 5% last year and 12% for the 5-year average. Once again, most of the corn planting occurred in the southern locations, with limited planting progress in the Corn Belt. In the western Corn Belt, Kansas is 17% planted (average is 24%), followed by Iowa at 4% (average is 10%) and Nebraska at 2% (average is 8%). Early corn planting has been slower in the eastern Corn Belt with Illinois at 1% (average is 17%), Indiana at 1% (average is 5%), and Ohio at 1% (average is 3%).

Early planting is slower in the eastern Corn Belt because they have been wetter than the western Corn Belt. For example, the percentage of the topsoil rated as surplus is 8% in Kansas, 19% in Nebraska, 24% in Iowa, 54% in Illinois, 59% in Indiana, and 57% in Ohio. There are still some showers in the forecast, but the next two weeks certainly look dryer than the last two weeks.

Ironically, after the severe floods and late-season snow storms in Nebraska, eastern Nebraska has been mostly dry for the last couple of weeks. The recent dry pattern has also been prevalent in Kansas, southwestern Iowa, and northwestern Missouri.

Generally the goal is to have 50% of the U.S. corn crop planted by May 10th. With 6% of the corn planted, the question is can we reach that goal? Given the current forecast, I would say that it is still possible to reach 50% planted by May 10th.

Farmers in the southern U.S. even have planted some of their soybeans with 1% of the 2019 U.S. soybeans planted compared to 2% last year and 2% for the 5-year average.

For now, I still maintain my estimate that the 2019 U.S. corn acreage might increase 1-2 million acres to 90-91 million and that the soybean acreage might decline 2-3 million acres to 86-87 million. The final acreage will depend on the weather of course and its impact on the amount of prevent plant acres, which may be in the range of 3-4 million acres.