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USDA: Planting edges closer to completion

Agriculture.com Staff 11/30/2015 @ 5:39am

"Are we there yet?" No. "Are we there yet?" No. "Are we there yet?" No!

For some farmers, this is what spring planting has felt like. Like that child in the back seat of the car who won't stop asking that blasted question over and over on a long road trip, this spring's wet weather throughout the nation's midsection has made 2009 corn and soybean a sometimes torturously long, trying experience.

Even now as planting season moves closer to the finish line, planting progress -- though almost caught up with the average pace -- still hasn't reached the magic number: 100%. As of Sunday, 97% of the nation's corn crop is planted, on par with last year at this time, but still two big percentage points behind the previous 99% average. Soybeans planting is further off the average pace, according to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report, at 78% complete compared to the 87% average. But, that's 2% above last year's progress for this week.

Though Monday's USDA numbers show every state is within a few percentage points of the normal progress for this week, there are still pockets where planting is still well off-pace. Now that mid-June is within sight, some farmers are giving up on getting more corn in the ground.

"It's the first time in my farming career that I did not get all my intended corn acres in; I gave up on the last 10% this week," says west-central Illinois farmer and Agriculture Online Marketing Talk member mdempsey3418798. "I have corn from above knee high (planted April 23) to just out of the ground (planted June 1). I have 1/3 of the beans in. I have not had as much rain as some, so I guess I am lucky."

Another nearby farmer says he wasn't able to avoid the rains that mdempsey3418798 was, and that's translated to even steeper delays. "Only 40$ done here. Finished exactly half of intended corn acres on June 2 and was able to sneak a couple hundred acres of no-till beans into mud somewhere along the way," says Marketing Talk member wcil.

A lot of soybeans remain in the bag in other areas, like northern Missouri, where farmers are prepared to work another month to get that crop sown, adds Marketing Talk member Don NMO. "Most will keep planting until at least the 10th of July, some maybe a little later," he says.

Things aren't quite as bad further east, like for Martinsville, Ohio, certified crop adviser Ed Winkle. He says his area saw its best soil conditions come and go in March, but come planting time in April, excess moisture was the culprit of planting delays and poor soil conditions. But, it wasn't as severe there, and planting that started in the third week of April is just wrapping up in Winkle's area.

"The corn looks most questionable but not terrible; the beans look a little better," says Winkle, also an Agriculture Online Crop Tech Tour CCA Correspondent. "We just need heat and sunshine now.

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