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Early-Planted, Above-Average Crops After a Slow Start
It's hard to believe, but with the first five weeks of adverse, cold/wet weather of the planting season followed by three weeks of warm/nice planting weather, we have managed to get the 2014 crop planted earlier than normal, with the crop rated above average across the major planted crops (corn, soybeans, HRS wheat). Yes, that's right! I said we now have an early-planted, above-average spring-planted crop coming in 2014! Of course, winter wheat is still showing a crop yield potential about 5% below trend, but even winter wheat yield prospects have stabilized with recent rains in the HRW Wheat Belt.
Crop progress out yesterday afternoon indicated the crop now is being planted ahead of normal pace, with crop conditions of corn and soybeans well above normal at this time, meaning we have an above-average crop coming so far in the U.S. Crop conditions of soybeans were rated 74% G/E, the second-highest rating in the past 20 years that soybeans have been rated! The Pro Ag yield model is early in its prediction ability, but so far the yield potential is above trend 44.02 bu/acre yields, with it at 44.44 bu/acre, still a bit below USDA's 45.2 bu/acre. Winter wheat yields were about steady at 45.5 bu/acre, still below trend considerably (about 5%) as winter wheat conditions were rated steady at 30% G/E. Winter wheat is now 9% harvested, just behind the 12% normal pace. Texas is 30% harvested while Oklahoma is 26% harvested.
The corn yield model improved 1.65 bu/acre this week to 162.84 bu/acre, well above trend at 159 bu but still below USDA's 165.3 bu/acre yield estimate in the last report. Corn conditions were rated 75% G/E, a high rating to start the year and well above last year's 63% rating. Corn planting is virtually complete as it's too late to plant corn grain now. Soybean planting is 87%, well ahead now of normal pace of 81% planted. North Dakota is now 84% planted, ahead of average pace of 80% planted. Soybeans are 71% emerged vs. 62% normally, so the past three weeks of excellent planting weather now have us at an early planted soybean crop - quite a feat considering how cold and wet we were for the first five weeks of the planting season. Farmers should be given credit where credit is due - they can really get a lot planted in just a small window of opportunity!
Sunflowers are now 52% planted, ahead of normal pace of 51% planted. HRS wheat is 95% planted vs. 93% normally, with emergence at 80% vs. 82% normally. HRS wheat conditions are about normal at 71% rated G/E at this time, well above last year's 62% rating. Oat conditions improved 1% this week to 63% G/E, and barley is now 97% planted vs. 93% normally at this time of year. Barley is 86% emerged vs. 82% normally at this time. Barley conditions are rated 64% G/E, down from 67% last week and 63% last year at this time. Pasture and range conditions are rated 51% G/E, 1% higher than last week and 49% rated last year. Overall, it looks like an early-developing to average-developing crop with better-than-average ratings to start the year.
As we've said before, Pro Ag projects we have an above-average corn and soybean crop coming in fields, and even with trend yields we will have a projected 1.7 billion bu corn carryout and 330 mb soybean carryout. Based on this fact, Pro Ag projects corn to drop $1 or more from recent highs (already we've dropped 60c), and soybeans to drop $2 or more by harvest (here we've only dropped about 50c). That's why we are 100% priced in 2014 and 2013 corn/soybeans. Target $6.75 July Chicago wheat to advance wheat sales.
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