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Farmland Forecast

RSS By: Marc Schober,

Marc Schober is the editor of Farmland Forecast an educational blog devoted to investments in agriculture and farmland.

Crop Progress: Corn Planting Progress at 40%, Still Behind Schedule

May 09, 2011

Today, the USDA released its weekly planting progress report. Corn planting made up important ground this past week, but is still significantly behind last year’s pace. With 27% of the crop being planted last week, 40% of the total corn crop is in the ground for the 18 primary producing states. This compares to a 5 year historical average of 59% in similar time periods, and 2010’s estimate of 80%. Wet weather patterns across much of the Corn Belt over the next week will undoubtedly play a major role in next week’s progress numbers.

7% of the U.S. corn crop has already emerged compared to the 5 year historical average of 21% by this point in the year. This week was the first week that USDA reported soybean planting progress with 7% of the crop already in the ground, compared to 28% in 2010 and the 5 year average of 17%.

The winter wheat crop condition worsened as more of the crop slipped grade this past week. Of the 2011 crop, only 33% is in excellent or good condition, compared to 66% one year ago. In 2010, 8% of the winter wheat crop was in poor or very poor condition while 42% is in such condition at this time in 2011. Winter wheat growth is still slightly ahead of schedule with 42% of the crop headed, compared to the 5 year historical average of 40%.

Cotton planting progress is at 26%, which is behind the 5 year average for the week of 33%. Spring wheat planting is still well behind the 5 year historical average with only 22% of the 2011 crop planted compared to the historical average of 61% by the second week in May.

Commodity prices were hurt this past week due to decreased global demand and favorable planting weather in the Corn Belt. Corn prices decreased 3.6% over the past week ending at $7.04 per bushel, soybeans were down 4.1% to $13.35 per bushel, and wheat ended the week unchanged, closing at $7.59 per bushel. Year-over-year corn prices are up 97%, soybeans are up 46%, and wheat is up 57%. Next week, we will look forward to reporting USDA estimates of emerged soybeans and spring wheat along with the usual planting progress.

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