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June 18, 2014

Heavy Rains Pound NW Corn Belt resulting in Localized Flooding

Heavy rains over the past week in northern Iowa and southern Minnesota have resulted in ponding and standing water that will necessitate the replanting of some of the crops in the region. In localized areas more than a foot of rain has fallen since late last week and widespread areas have received more than six inches of rainfall. Unfortunately, there is more rainfall in the forecast for the remainder of this week. The hardest hit area appears to be the northwestern quarter of Iowa and the southwestern quarter of Minnesota.

It is unlikely that the majority of the corn flooded out this far into the growing season will be replanted. Some of the corn may be replanted, but instead, the area may be replanted to soybeans if it dries out in a timely manner. If the afflicted areas continue to remain wet for another week or two, the farmers will probably file insurance claims and the fields will remain unplanted.

In addition to causing crop damage, the heavy rains now throws into doubt the accuracy of the June Planted Report which will be released on June 30th. The survey for the report has already been completed and any lost acres due to the ponding and localized flooding may not be fully accounted for in the report. Therefore, the actual planted acreage of corn and soybeans in the U.S. may be lower than what will be estimated in the June report.

After the June Planted Report, the next opportunity for the USDA to account for the planted acreage of corn and soybeans will be the August Crop Report. In the August Crop Report farmers are asked how many acres of corn and soybeans they planted and how many acres they intend to harvest. If the situation is severe enough, the USDA may conduct a special survey in Iowa and Minnesota in conjunction with the August Crop Report survey in an attempt to account for the lost acreage.