Corn Planting Surges, Growth Behind

Monday’s USDA weekly crop update showed corn planting progress has nearly caught up to last year, but crop emergence trails the five-year average following the recent cold spell in the Midwest.

The USDA reported that 79% of U.S. corn acreage had been planted as of Sunday, up from 52% a week earlier. That progress compared with 81% a year earlier and a five-year average of 67%.

According to the USDA, however, only 23% of the corn crop had emerged, vs. 34% last year and the five-year average of 23%. Crop emergence is furthest behind in the northwest Corn Belt, with only 1% of the Minnesota crop said to be emerged, vs. an average of 13%.

There were reports of frost damage to early-planted corn. Some Illinois farm operators, particularly those in the northern areas, are replanting corn due to cold temperatures and frost damage, the Illinois Agricultural Statistics Service reported. Dry conditions were said to be a growing concern, with topsoil becoming crusted due to a lack of moisture.

In Iowa, nearly all areas of the state reported frost occurring last week, however, the state’s agricultural statistics service did not report any replanting activity.

Soybean planting progress moved ahead of normal, but remained behind last year’s pace. The USDA estimated 26% of the U.S. soybean crop had been planted, vs. 32% a year earlier and the average of 23%.

Soybean planting was well ahead in Illinois, where farmers have all but finished planting corn. Some 39% of the Illinois soybean crop had already been planted, versus 29% a year earlier and an average of 25%.

Editors note: Richard Brock, The Corn and Soybean Digest's Marketing Editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.

To see more market perspectives, visit Brock's Web site at www.brockreport.com.