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Corn planting almost in the books -- USDA

Jeff Caldwell 06/03/2013 @ 3:42pm Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

Farmers have finally hit the homestretch for this year's corn planting, with just over 90% of the crop in the ground, according to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report.

As of Sunday, farmers in Wisconsin are the furthest behind the normal planting pace for this week at 74% vs. 94%, but most states are within a few percentage points of their previous average pace, with farmers in Indiana playing a major game of catch-up over the last week to surge beyond the normal progress level for this week, according to Monday's report.

Corn emergence also took a major step forward in the last week; a week ago Sunday, just over half the crop (54%) had emerged. As of Sunday, 74% of the crop is out of the ground. Most Corn Belt states saw 10% to 20% jumps in emergence in the last week, shows Monday's report.

On the other hand, soybean planting remains well off the average pace. Though farmers did get 13% of the soybean crop planted in the last week, Monday's 57% completion is down from the previous average of 74% and almost 40% behind last year's blistering pace by which 93% of the crop was planted by the first week of June. Farmers in Missouri, Wisconsin, and Iowa are among the ones lagging the normal pace the most, with the last state at 44% planted compared to the previous average of 91%.

The corn planting number is near many farmers' estimates, but major questions abound about the remaining corn acres to plant and whether they'll ultimately house soybeans instead. Then, there are the many questions these circumstances pose to the marketplace.

"I have doubts that much more will get planted in June; just too much of a yield hit. How does a 7- to 8-million-acre reduction in corn acres impact 2013 fall prices? And, with acres already switched to soybeans, is the planting progress report really reflecting those reductions, will we hit 90 million acres planted, or is it less?  And, no soybean progress this past week in this area," says Agriculture.com Marketing Talk senior contributor WCMO.

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