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There are several options for conditioning the soil, but much depends on your tillage and management systems, farmers say.
A smaller soybean crop, a slightly corn crop and a larger wheat crop. That's what USDA officials expect out of the fields this year, if Wednesday's USDA-NASS monthly World Agricultural Supply and Demand Estimates (WASDE) report is any indication.
In terms of grain stocks pegged in Wednesday's report, there's more wheat on hand than earlier expected, more soybeans than expected and about as many bushels as the trade expected heading into Wednesday's data.
For all intents and purposes, corn planting is wrapped up for this year. As of Sunday, only 5% of the crop remains unplanted, slightly more than normal and just 3% above last week. Of the crop planted, 84% has emerged, about 5% above normal and a 10% increase in the last week, according to Monday's USDA-NASS weekly Crop Progress report.
In terms of crop conditions, corn's unchanged over the last week, with 74% in good or excellent condition.
After a week featuring off-and-on rainfall -- in many spots in the Midwest enough to keep planters and sprayers parked at the field's edge -- it looks like the moisture's going to continue through much of the weekend, allowing a few chances for fieldwork to resume but keeping up the wet trend of the last couple of weeks for the region. And, that's not the best news in the world for farmers with corn and soybeans left to plant.
Friday's announcement of the paring-down of the ethanol mandate and increase in biodiesel usage through 2016 and 2017, respectively, is rooted in the market demand for both fuels in the broader context of the fuels sector in general, according to one key variable.