Evening Report (VIP) -- April 28, 2014

03:44PM Apr 28, 2014
( )

Corn planting 19% complete... Corn planting jumped to 19% complete as of Sunday, according to USDA's weekly assessment. That's up 13 percentage points from the previous week, but slightly below the trade guess of 21% and still nine points behind the five-year average. Illinois posted a 27-point increase, with corn planting now 32% complete in the state, just one percentage point behind the five-year average. Planting stands at 8% in Indiana (26% on average), 15% in Iowa (33% on average), 4% in Minnesota (30% on average) and 20% in Nebraska (22% on average).

Kansas (37%), Missouri (47%), South Dakota (11%) and Colorado (16%) are the only states running ahead of their respective five-year averages for corn planting on this date. Limited planting progress is expected this week as cold, wet conditions are forecast for much of the Corn Belt.

Corn emergence stands at 3% as of Sunday, which is slightly ahead of last year's 2% but half of the five-year average of 6%. Illinois and Nebraska have 2% of the corn crop emerged. There was no measurable corn emergence in Iowa, Indiana or Minnesota.


Soybean planting 3% complete... USDA's first soybean planting figures of the season signal 3% of the crop is seeded. That's slightly behind the average pace of 4% on this date. USDA did not release soybean planting data on this week last year. Soybean planting is 2% complete in Illinois (3% on average), 1% done in Indiana (8% on average) and 6% complete in Nebraska (2% on average). Iowa and Minnesota haven't started soybean planting yet.


Winter wheat crop conditions declines slightly... USDA now rates 34% of the winter wheat crop as "poor" to "very poor," up one percentage point from last week. The portion of crop rated "good" to "excellent" dropped one point to 33%. The portion of crop rated in the bottom two categories stands at 37% in Kansas, 65% in Oklahoma and 65% in Texas.

Winter Wheat

very poor





This week






Last week












Development of the winter wheat crop continues to run behind normal. As of Sunday, 18% was headed, which is eight points behind the five-year average. Only 4% of the Kansas winter wheat crop is headed as scouts on the annual Wheat Quality Council HRW tour head out to sample fields in the state over the next three days.


Spring wheat planting slowed by cold, wet weather... The spring wheat crop was 18% planted as of Sunday, based on USDA's weekly update. That's up eight percentage points from week-ago but still 12 points behind normal. The top production state of North Dakota saw a 2-percentage-point increase to 3% complete, which is 16 points behind normal. Minnesota had only 2% seeded compared to 39% on average. The cold, wet forecast isn't going to allow for much planting progress this week.


Cotton planting remains behind normal... Cotton planting was 13% complete as of Sunday, according to USDA. While equal to last year's pace, that's five percentage points behind normal. Texas farmers have 15% of their crop planted, compared to 18% on average. Georgia is only 4% done versus 11% on average.


NWS: Cold temps to continue; mixed precip outlook... Below-normal temps are expected to continue across all but the far southern fringes of the Corn Belt through May 8, according to the latest 6- to 10-day forecast from the National Weather Service (NWS). Above-normal temps are expected across Oklahoma and Texas for May 4-8. For the precip outlook, NWS calls for above-normal rains over the entire eastern Corn Belt and all but northwestern Missouri during the period. The southwestern Plains are expected to see below-normal rainfall to go along with the higher-than-normal temps.

This forecast is not favorable for active corn planting progress or the HRW wheat crop.


Returns on pension fund-owned farmland decline in Q1... Not surprisingly, returns on pension-fund-owned farmland slipped in the first quarter of 2014, according to the quarterly update from the National Council of Real Estate Investment Fiduciaries (NCREIF). The association's Farmland Index indicates a total return for the quarter of 2.41%, comprised of 1.53% appreciation and 0.88% income return. NCREIF is an association of professionals with significant involvement and interest in pension fund real estate investments. The NCREIF Farmland Index consists of 550 investment-grade farm properties comprised of 406 annual cropland properties and 144 permanent farmland properties. NCREIF notes the 2.41% first-quarter return is below the 5.44% total return of the first quarter of last year and the 3.78% total return for the first quarter of 2012. The figure is also down compared to the fourth quarter of 2013's 9.26% total return.

There is typically a decline from the fourth quarter to the first quarter due to conclusion of the sale of the crops and the revenue sharing that goes with that. Check Mike Walsten's blog, Your Precious Land, for more.


Cash rent for Iowa farmland declines... The statewide average cash rent for Iowa corn and soybean cropland declined by $10 for 2014, to a statewide average of $260 an acre, according to the annual survey conducted by Iowa State University. Despite this year's decline, the 2014 average remains $8 above the 2012 statewide average of $252 an acre. In addition it is $76 higher than the state average of $184 an acre posted in 2010. The west-central crop reporting district reports the highest district average of $288 an acre. The central crop district, last year's high-average district, sports a district average of $284 an acre.