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June 5, 2013

57% of U.S. Soybeans Planted, 33 Million Acres Yet to Plant

Soybean planting - As of Sunday 57% of the 2013 soybean crop had been planted compared to 93% last year and 74% average. As expected, the fastest planting pace was in the eastern Corn Belt and the slowest planting pace was in the central and northwestern Corn Belt.

Soybean replanting - In the pounded areas, some of the soybeans will need to be replanted once the water drains away. Recently planted soybeans or small emerging soybeans are very sensitive to standing water. If a small soybean plant is under water for 24 to 48 hours, it is probably going to die and need to be replanted. Even if there are just saturated conditions and no standing water, a lot of root rots and fungal diseases can still impact the soybeans. How many soybeans that need to be replanted is yet to be determined.

Soybean emergence - As of Sunday 31% of the soybeans have emerged compared to 76% last year and 49% average.

Soybean condition - In next Monday's report we may or may not get the first condition rating for the 2013 soybean crop. As with corn, I don't put much faith in the first few condition ratings. In my opinion, I don't see how you can tell the difference between a poor and fair soybean plant and an average to good soybean plant when the plants are so small. The plant needs to develop some more before you can start making distinctions.

Soybean prevent plant - We are still 1-3 weeks away from the time that a farmer may have to make a decision concerning soybean prevent plant. The earliest prevent plant date for soybeans is June 10th (North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota) and the latest date is June 25th (Missouri). I think farmers will continue to try and plant soybeans past the prevent plant date, at least for a few days. But, except for some far southern location, probably very few soybeans will be planted past the end of June. There is too much of a yield drag and potential for frost damage if soybeans are planted that late.

Even though soybeans are photoperiodic, which means that their development is triggered by the amount of sunlight and darkness, their development is still impacted somewhat by being planted very late. For every two days that soybeans are planted extra late, their maturity is delayed by one day. For example, if soybeans are planted on July 1st and that is considered two weeks later than normal, then the crop would mature a week later than normal. That is why farmers don't want to plant 100-day maturity soybeans in the northern Corn Belt during the month of July. After the first of July, there are probably not a hundred frost-free days left in the growing season in the northwestern Corn Belt.