May 29, 2013

Wet Weather Continues to Delay Spring Planting in the U.S.

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

Wet weather last week and over the weekend continued to frustrate farmers trying to wrap up their 2013 corn planting. As of Sunday, May 26th, 86% of the 2013 U.S. corn crop had been planted compared to 99% in 2012 and 90% average. The slowest planting progress is across the northern production states where North Dakota is 72% planted, Minnesota is 82% planted, and Wisconsin is just 64% planted. Iowa, which is the number one corn producing state in the U.S., reported that 85% of the corn had been planted. The corn crop is now reported to be 54% emerged compared to 89% in 2012 and 67% average.

Limited planting progress is expected this week with the forecast calling for chances of rain every day across the central and northwestern Corn Belt. There are still approximately 13.6 million acres of corn remaining to be planted and any corn planted from this point forward will generally have a lower yield potential. The heavy rains across parts of Iowa, Minnesota, and Illinois have resulted in rivers overflowing their banks and pounded water in the fields. If these areas had already been planted, they will probably have to be replanted once they dry out.

If it continues to remain too wet to plant through the end of the week, farmers may switch to earlier maturing corn hybrids, or switch to soybeans instead. In the wettest areas they may also decide to opt for a crop insurance payment under the prevent plant provision. The earliest prevent plant date for corn in the Corn Belt is generally May 25th and the last prevent plant date is June 5th.

The 2013 U.S. soybean crop is also being planted at a slower pace with 44% of the crop in the ground compared to 87% last year and 61% average. The fastest soybean planting pace is in the eastern Corn Belt and the slowest pace is in the northern and northwestern Corn Belt. Only 14% of the soybeans have emerged compared to 57% last year and 30% average.

Soybeans are usually the default crop for U.S. farmers meaning that if they cannot plant corn due to wet conditions, they may switch those acres to additional soybean production instead. Soybean yields are generally not impacted by late planting unless planting is delayed into early or mid-June. If it gets too late to plant soybeans, then farmers may also opt to take a crop insurance payment for prevented planting. The first prevent plant date for soybeans in the Corn Belt is June 10th and the last date is June 25th.