What Traders are Talking About:
* Corn planting pace slower than expected. As of Sunday, USDA reported only 13% of the U.S. corn crop was planted, which was at the bottom end of the trade guess range and slower than the average trade guess of 16%, according to a poll conducted by Reuters. While the corn planting pace is getting most of the attention, the emergence pace is more important. As of Sunday, only 5% of the U.S. corn crop was emerged, including 0% in Iowa, Indiana and Minnesota; 1% in Nebraska; and 3% in Illinois.
The long and short of it: The planting pace will increase more rapidly this week in areas of the western Corn Belt. But emergence isn't likely to make a big jump as soil temps are still too low to trigger rapid germination across much of the Corn Belt.
* HRW crop ratings continue to fall. Rains in the Central and Southern Plains last week failed to improve the condition of the HRW crop. Based on our weighted Crop Condition Index (CCI), the HRW crop dropped another 2 points to 246. Heavy rains in the southern and eastern Corn Belt also started to take a toll on the SRW crop, which declined 6 points to 365 on the CCI.
The long and short of it: Very poor crop condition ratings for the HRW crop have heightened attention on the Wheat Quality Council tour through Kansas, which kicks off this morning.
* Army Corps of Engineers blows hole in levee. A hole was blasted into a levee near Birds Point, MO, late Monday to lower water levels at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers in an attempt to save several towns in Illinois and Kentucky from being flooded. The result: Around 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland will be flooded. Heavy rains continue to pound the southern and eastern Corn Belt, causing those along the Mississippi River in Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi to expect flooding.
The long and short of it: The expected flooding of some 130,000 acres of Missouri farmland due to the levee blast is extremely disheartening for those directly involved. But in the grand scheme of things, it's a small amount. The broader scoping concern is how many acres of farmland will be flooded naturally by the heavy, relentless rains?
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