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Corn Planting, Emergence Slows -- USDA

Jeff Caldwell 05/19/2014 @ 3:44pm Multimedia Editor for Agriculture.com and Successful Farming magazine.

A week ago, farmers had just wrapped up a week of immense corn-planting progress. That's not necessarily the case seven days later.

Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report shows 73% of the nation's corn is in the ground. While that's only 3% behind the previous average pace for this week, it's a mere 14% advance from last Monday, less than half of the previous week's tally. A week ago, farmers had planted 30% of the crop in the previous seven days alone.

Weather is largely to blame; below-normal temperatures and frequent rainfall in the Corn Belt last week kept planters parked in many points around the Midwest, and Monday's data reflect the delays. While Iowa farmers, for example, planted 14% of their crop in the last week, only 6% of the Illinois crop was planted during the same period.

"This was close to the prereport trade estimates of 70% to 75% and down from the five-year average of 76%," says Kluis Commodities broker and market analyst Al Kluis.

Corn emergence was seemingly just as hampered by the cool, wet conditions in the last week, with just 34% of the crop now out of the ground. That's up from last week's 18%, but 8% off the normal pace. Most states in the nation's center range from about 30% to 50% emerged, with Illinois' crop in the lead at 60% emerged, a 24% increase over last week.

Soybean planting tracked corn's progress in the last week, with farmers overall getting 13% of the crop in the ground. Monday's 33% progress is just 5% behind the normal pace. Progress in the Midwest ranges from 15% in Michigan to 36% in Illinois. Thus far, just 9% of the soybean crop has emerged, 2% off the previous average pace.

Farmers say the last week's cool temperatures -- some low enough to inflict frost damage to young, newly planted corn and soybeans -- definitely hampered crop development. And, some of those setbacks will have long-lasting effects.

"As far as corn goes here, most looks good for the condition it's in. We will lose some to wet spots over east-central Indiana. Here, we had anywhere from 5 to 8 inches of rain last week," says Agriculture.com Marketing Talk veteran adviser ECIN. "But beans are another story. The beans we put in on May 5 and 6 got hammered by frost on Sunday morning when it got down to 36 degrees. It caught them in the crooked neck stage. The ones that are still under ground are OK, and the ones that are at VE stage appear to have made it."

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mark guildenzoph 05/19/2014 @ 4:39pm Myself as well as four additional farmers that I have spoke with are less than 50% done planting corn far below your averages. Will county IL as a whole is less than 50% planted with corn, so again I say far below your averages. On top of these facts after the 25th I'll be switching crops on these acres to soybeans do to the shortage in heat growing days. More than likely I'll not be the only one to switch. Sure glad these traders screwed the corn market up beyond repair. At this point the decisions are becoming more clear it just don't pay to farm with these prices. Why is it fuel, chemical, fertilizer, seed, and rent all go up every year without question and prices continue to fall?? Doesn't make any sense animal feed as well as human population will never decrease when is the market price going to reflect reality?? Mabye, I can make a deal to just make a commission for showing up what do you guys think????

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