May 15, 2013

U.S. Soybean Planting Progress off to Delayed Start

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

As expected, the 2013 U.S. soybean crop is also being planted much slower than expected. As of Sunday only 6% of the soybean crop has been planted compared to 43% last year and 24% for average. Once again, most of the soybean planting has occurred in the southern and eastern states such as Louisiana (51% planted), Mississippi (17% planted), Arkansas (19% planted), and Ohio (16% planted).

Soybeans can be planted until early June with no negative impact on the yield potential so there is little concern as yet about the delayed soybean planting. Delays in planting soybeans generally do not result in lower yield potentials unless the delays stretch into the second half of June or later. Even then, if the weather during July and August is good, late-planted soybeans can still yield very well.

The delayed soybean planting though could limit the amount of soybeans available to the market during the month of August. The trend over the past decade has been for farmers in the Delta to plant early maturing soybeans as early as possible in order to take advantage of premiums in the market for early delivered soybeans. These early-maturing soybeans are harvested in August when the premiums can be quite high. Farmers also like these early maturing soybeans because it avoids have the soybeans filling pods during August and September when the weather can be very hot and dry in the Delta.

Much of the corn in the Delta was also planted later than normal and therefore, there will also be less corn available to the market during the month of August than what had been anticipated.