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April 4, 2017

Rainfall Welcomed across Southern Corn Belt, at least for Now

The weather last week was quite wet across much of the Corn Belt, especially southern and eastern areas and the weather this week should be wet as well. The Drought Monitor over the last few weeks has indicated dry soils across much of the southern Corn Belt, but the soil moisture should be mostly recharged by the end of this week. It will take a while for that to be reflected in the Drought Monitor, but for now, I do not think there are any major dryness concerns across the Corn Belt.

There were heavy rains over the last few days in Louisiana and Mississippi that not only halted field activity, but may have resulted in some flooding as well. Farmers in Louisiana had planted nearly all of their corn before the wet weather moved in, so some farmers will probably now have to do some replanting.

In the majority of the Corn Belt, the rainfall will result in a slowdown of early field work, but it will result in good soil moisture as farmers get ready for spring planting. Farmers in the southern Corn Belt usually start to plant corn during the first week of April, so a dryer trend going forward in the southern Corn Belt would be welcomed.

U.S. Corn Planting Progressing at about the Average Pace - In the first weekly Crop Progress Report of the 2017 growing season, the USDA did not indicate how much of the corn crop has been planted. Their first estimate of the corn planting should be reported next Monday.

Since we do not have a national estimate, my guess is that 1% or less of the corn has been planted. Some of the corn planted in Louisiana and Mississippi may now have to be replanted. Early corn planting was running about a week ahead of normal until this week's wet weather slowed things down. My guess now is that corn planting is progressing at about the average pace.