Corn planting drags on
It wasn't much, but the last week saw at least some signs of corn planting progress. The pace remains well behind normal, though, USDA showed in Monday's weekly Crop Progress report.
As of Sunday, farmers have 13% of the nation's corn crop in the ground. That's down from the average pace of 40% planted by this week and way off last year's pace of 66% completion by this week. Though slight compared to last year, the gains made in some states dwarfed previous progress: In Iowa, 8% of the crop is in the ground, up from 3% a week ago; 15% of Nebraska's crop is in the ground, up from 5% a week ago. The only state still registering a goose egg on the planting scale, according to USDA, is North Dakota. Farmers in Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota and Wisconsin all only have 1% of the crop planted.
In addition to the meager planting gains, some of that corn is starting to poke its head out. Twelve percent of the Kansas crop has emerged, while 15% of Missouri's crop is up. Nationwide, 5% of the crop has emerged.
Farmers around the nation's midsection report just as varied progress as USDA's Monday report shows. In Nebraska, Agriculture.com Marketing Talk member sonoma72 says things have dried up in that state, so much so that by the end of this week, most of the corn crop should be planted.
"We went from 'have no idea when we would plant' to 'will be done with corn mid-week' in quite possibly the best conditions ever. I would guess a lot of Nebraska will be planted by Mother's Day," he said Sunday. "For us, I always figure this is the best week for corn planting, and this year is no different."
But, as you head east, conditions start to deteriorate. Marketing Talk member Mizzou_Tiger says he's been able to run the last couple of days, but says it's far from ideal and might leave some farmers wishing they'd waited for better conditions.
"I wouldn't say the dust is flying, but corn is going in the ground. Let's just say I would like to see it drier underneath. But, it's working," the Missouri farmer said Sunday in Marketing Talk. "Staying on lighter ground today and tomorrow. Some others are out running. It's just now fit and we have been 'lucky' and missed the big rains. You don't have to go very far in any direction and it is WET."
Head east from Mizzou_Tiger's area and it goes downhill quick. It's going to be a while before farmers in Ohio can get much planting done. Field conditions are almost dry enough right now, but with a few days of wet weather on the horizon, it looks like any progress toward planting will screech to a halt.
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