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Attention turns to growing season

Ray Grabanski 06/18/2013 @ 9:50am President, Progressive Ag www.progressiveag.com

U.S. planting continues to drag on, with the only corn being planted now to be used for silage. Meanwhile, soybean planting continues.  

This was a fairly good week for soybean planting, with about half of remaining soybeans put into the ground. The USDA indicates that this week's soybean planting advanced to 85% complete from 71% last week.  We now only lag the normal pace by 6% points (91% normally planted).  So, we continue to 'catch up' to the normal pace. That 6% we are behind the normal pace amounts to about 4.6 million acres of soybeans we are behind the average pace of planting on June 16. So, it's likely we will lose some yield potential on these acres.  

However, it also means we are now turning our focus towards crop conditions, not planting progress, as we move into the growing season for the grains.  

Corn crop conditions improved 1% this week to 64% G/E, up from 63% last week and above last year's 63% rating.  The Pro Ag yield model for corn jumped this week 0.5 bu/acre to 153.5 bu/acre, reversing the declines and giving hope that this year will indeed be different than last year's devastatingly small crop.  While below 'trend' of 158 (Pro Ag trend yield) and USDA's 156.5 bu/acre projection, the direction of improving is important as we now have good moisture conditions across the US.  Its likely that with warming temps conditions will continue to improve.  

Soybean conditions also were strong at 64% G/E in the first week of ratings, well above last year's 56% rating.  The Pro Ag yield model for 43.2 bu/acre, still above USDA's projected 44.5 bu/acre but respectable for the first rating of the year.  What really matters now is the direction of that yield model.  Recall, last year, we had sharply declining conditions from here on out to finish with a devastatingly poor crop of only 39.6 bu/acre.  But, with moisture everywhere, that is unlikely to continue with below average crops.  Instead, Pro Ag anticipates conditions of crops to improve with warming conditions, and that will spell a whole lot different price outlook than 1 year ago.  

Other crop conditions are showing improvements, with cotton at 42% G/E, the same as last week but down from 53% G/E last year.  Sorghum conditions are better than last year at 53% G/E vs. only 47% last year.  

Sorghum is 84% planted, ahead of normal pace of 82% planted at this time.  

Sunflowers are only 55% planted,, well behind normal pace of 77% due to lateness in ND.  Rice crop conditions are 68% G/E, up from 62% last week.  

Winter wheat conditions were steady at 31% rated G/E, well below last year's 54%.  That puts the Pro Ag yield model for winter wheat at 44.38 bu/acre, well below USDA's projected 46.1 bu/acre and down .33 bu/acre from last week, another sharp decline.  However, the rains this week in OK, TX, and KS (75% coverage of .5-1.5", locally 2-3") should improve that next week.  

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