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Foul planting weather to persist
Being seven percent done as of April 17 with corn planting doesn't seem like much, especially when you consider that we had more than double that done by that same date last year, but take note that we actually had LESS than seven percent of the corn crop in the ground by April 17 in 2007, 2008, and 2009.
In two of those years though we saw better weather for the remainder of April, and thus in both 2007 and 2009 we had about 30 percent of the corn crop in the ground by May 1. In 2008 we had only 20 percent of the corn in the ground by May 1, and it looks like we are going to see a pace more similar to that this year...or even worse.
With regards to getting fieldwork done in the Midwest for the rest of this month, this upcoming weather pattern is about as bad as it can get. Basically the entire Corn Belt is going to see another two inches of precipitation over the next ten days, but that does not accurately tell the story for especially the southeastern half of the region as rains there in that period will be in excess of four inches and some places in that time frame may see upwards of eight inches.
One still has to consider the likelihood that snow will be falling at times in the northwestern Corn Belt, given that temperatures there will be running a good distance below normal through at least early next week (while at times running a good deal above normal in far southern and southeastern parts of the Nation; that contrast in temperatures largely explains why so much precipitation is going to be falling). I would look for the corn planting pace for next Monday's report to show that 8 to 10 percent of the Nation's corn crop to be planted as of April 24, which would compare to 46 percent on that same date last year and a five- year average of 23 percent done.
It would be slightly faster than the pace of 2008 when we were 7 percent done as of April 24. Other comparable years would be 1999 and 1995 (with the slowest pace ever for April 24 set in 1993, when corn planting was four percent done). Given the continued wet out look for next week, I think that it is entirely possible that under 20 percent of the Nation's corn crop will have been planted this year by May 1.
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