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USDA: Corn 53% planted, within trade estimates

Agriculture.com Staff 05/07/2007 @ 2:19pm

The U.S. corn crop is just over half planted, still behind the normal pace, USDA said on Monday.

USDA, in its weekly Crop Progress report, reported corn was 53% planted, below last year's pace of 67%, and a 63% five-year average.

Following numerous rain events, market analysts estimated this week's corn planting percentage to be between 40%-55%.

Also, 14% of the corn crop has emerged, behind 23% from a year ago, and below a 20% five-year average.

Shawn McCambridge, Prudential Securities, said the market will be watching closely the crop progress reports for the next few weeks.

To significantly affect this week's market, the USDA Monday would have had to release a planting progress percentage of 40 or below, McCambridge said.

"For the next few weeks, the market will be focusing on the locations of slow planting progress," McCambridge said. "The main concern is the western Corn Belt producers will not be able to get back into their fields until the latter part of next week or later."

McCambridge added, "East of the Mississippi though, the storms are falling apart and rainfall amounts are much lighter. The next concern will be how much of the already planted corn is being affected by the crusting of the soil."

Meanwhile, producers who are unable to get corn planted in the next 10 days may begin switching of acres to soybeans could start to occur.

"If the field is already prepared for corn, a shorter season variety could be used," McCambridge said. "Switching acres will be forced upon the producer if they have to wait too long to plant."

On Monday, USDA indicated the U.S. soybean crop is 10% planted, below 17% from a year ago, and 17% five-year average. Market analysts estimated soybean plantings between 6%-10%.

USDA rated the winter wheat crop as 18% very poor-poor, 25% fair, and 57% good/excellent. Also, 35% of the wheat is headed, below 52% a year ago. The spring wheat crop is 68% planted, 21% emerged.

For cotton, the USDA indicated 32% of the crop is planted, below 42% a year ago.

Because the middle of the month is approaching, McCambridge said the market traders will also be closely watching next week's crop progress report.

The U.S. corn crop is just over half planted, still behind the normal pace, USDA said on Monday.

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