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'Startling' planting numbers emerge on June 1

06/01/2011 @ 8:38am

With 86 percent of the Nation's corn in the ground as of May 29, it does indeed look like we will plant more than ten percent of this year's U.S. corn crop after June 1, the first time that has happened since 1996.

The numbers are more startling though if you factor acreage into the mix. Let's assume that we are 88% done nationally with corn planting right now (I think that we will be around 92% done for next Monday's report). Going by the USDA acreage numbers of March 31, that would leave us with 11 million acres left to plant here in June. That's an awfully big number and likely not all of that will be planted to corn.

The best chances for acreage switching and/or abandonment would likely be in the northern Plains, where conditions are wet right now and where considerable rain will likely again be falling in especially the 6-10 day time frame. Ohio has more corn left to plant than anyone, but at least does have a favorable forecast for net drying to take place (and thus fieldwork to get done) as temperatures will be warm and rainfall will be limited there over the next ten days.

Speaking of the northern Plains, the 68 percent completion mark this week for spring wheat planting is by far the lowest figure in at least 25 years (the previous low was 73 percent done in 1995). As wet as the northern Plains are right now and with rain in the ten- day forecast, it is becoming more and more likely that there will be acreage there that just never does get planted.

For areas of the Midwest that has all of the spring fieldwork done, this is still a favorable forecast. Soil moisture levels are good, and very warm temperatures coming up will really be adding some growing degree day units. This Friday and Monday-Wednesday of next week will be especially hot days with highs of 90 or higher likely to be common in the Midwest. Temperatures will cool again very late next week in the Midwest, and with those cool temperatures will come a more widespread rainfall threat for the region for the 11-15 day time frame.

Freese-Notis Weather, Inc. Des Moines, Iowa Copyright 2011 - All Rights Reserved

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