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Corn planting at 7% -- USDA

Jeff Caldwell 04/09/2012 @ 3:44pm Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

Farmers made decent strides in planting corn in the last week, but it wasn't the barnburner most in the grain trade expected.

As of Sunday, 7% of the nation's corn is planted, according to Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report. That includes a 12% gain in Illinois (from 5% complete last week to 17% this week) and a 16% gain (from 7% to 23%) in Missouri. Planters were stalled in Nebraska, which was static at 1% complete, and made single-digit gains in states like Indiana (from 1% to 6%).

Monday's report reflects slightly slower planting progress than many in the trade expected. With the early planting date for crop insurance coverage coming and going in places like central Illinois, many thought last week's 3% corn planting completion would explode into the 8% to 10% range in this Monday's report.

Plus, there's some talk of potential freeze around the Corn Belt over the next 2-3 days. The combination of these factors has more farmers holding off until a planting timeframe closer to normal. As of Monday, 53% of those responding to an Agriculture.com poll say they'll stick to a more normal planting time.

"Everyone is planting in central Indiana. Probably 15% done. We waited to start until today and will only do a 50 today to test out all the new shiny paint and computers. It is early," Agriculture.com Marketing Talk veteran contributor time:thetippingpoint said Saturday. "Amazing how everyone forgets that corn planted before April 10 in Indiana is never the best corn."

Now, add to those variables the weather situation. Frosting and freezing temperatures aren't the only concerns moving forward. Dry conditions and a summer that many forecasters say will likely be warmer than usual have some farmers waiting on the ideal time to plant.



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