May 27, 2014
Good Weather Encourages Rapid Planting Progress Across U.S.
The weather last week and over the weekend was the best thus far this spring for planting. It was even nice and warm all the way up to the Canadian border for the first time this year before more rain moved back into North Dakota over the weekend. As a result, farmers got a lot of planting accomplished during the week and over the weekend.
The weekly planting progress will be released on Tuesday afternoon and I expect the U.S. corn planting to be 90% complete plus-or-minus 2%. With these warm temperatures, the corn emergence should be over 50% and the emergence percentage will increase very fast. The soybean planting might be 60% complete plus-or-minus 5% and the soybean emergence might be 35%, but that too will increase very quickly. For both crops the planting and emergence are now within the average range.
There will be some areas where the corn in the wet spots will need to be replanted and there will be some spotty stands and lower plant populations caused by soil crusting, but all of these problems collectively are probably not more than usual.
The one area of concern remains the northwestern Corn Belt especially North Dakota and northern Minnesota. Several weeks ago I estimated that 7-8% of the intended U.S. corn acreage had a problem getting planted. I think that has now shrunk to maybe 5% of the U.S. corn crop and that number may continue to shrink.
The prevent plant date for corn in most of North Dakota was this past Sunday (May 25th), but the planting conditions improved significantly last week which allowed farmers to ramp up their planting pace. If farmers in North Dakota opt out of planting corn, it is more likely they will switch to soybeans, sunflowers, or spring wheat instead of claiming an insurance payment due to prevent plant. As a result, I continue to feel the corn acreage in North Dakota will decline and the soybean acreage will increase.