Evening Report (VIP) -- April 29, 2013

April 29, 2013 09:45 AM

CORN PLANTING ADVANCES JUST ONE PERCENTAGE POINT... USDA reports as of Sunday just 5% of the nation's corn crop was planted, which compares to 4% last week, 49% last year and 31% on average. Traders expected planting to be around 9% complete. Illinois and Indiana have just 1% planted (36% and 30% on average, respectively) and Iowa is 2% planted (36% on average). With more rain in the forecast for this week, planting across the heart of the Corn Belt is expected to remain very slow.

USDA reports just 2% of the nation's corn crop has emerged, which compares to 14% last year and 6% on average.



WINTER WHEAT CROP CONDITION DECLINES... USDA reports the condition of the winter wheat crop declined from last week, with the portion of crop rated "very poor" increasing by two percentage points from last week to 16% and the "good" category declining by two percentage points to 28%.

Winter Wheat

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Meanwhile, USDA reports as of Sunday 14% of the winter wheat crop was headed compared to 55% last year and 29% on average. Kansas has just 1% headed (19% on average); Oklahoma is at 21% (65% on average); and Texas has 45% headed (56% on average).



SPRING WHEAT PLANTING PROGRESSING SLOWLY... USDA reports 12% of the nation's spring wheat crop has been planted, which compares to 7% last week, 70% last year and 37% on average. Leading the way is Washington at 85% (66% on average), followed by Idaho at 71% (60% on average). But South Dakota has just 13% planted ( 56% on average); Montana is at 12% (39% on average); North Dakota is at 2% (27% on average); and none of the Minnesota crop has been seeded (41% on average).

USDA reports as of Sunday that 3% of the crop has emerged compared to 26% last year and 10% on average.



COTTON PLANTING 14% COMPLETE... USDA reports as of Sunday that 14% of the nation's cotton crop was planted, which compares to 10% last week, 25% last year and 20% on average. Leading the way is California at 80% complete (74% on average), followed by Arizona at 65% (58% on average). Texas has 14% planted, which is just a two-percentage improvement from last week and compares to 20% on average.



NWS 6-10 DAY FORECAST MORE PROMISING FOR WESTERN CORN BELT PLANTING... The National Weather Service forecast for May 5-9 holds the potential for more favorable planting conditions in the western Corn Belt based on the outlook for below-normal precip, although above-normal precip is expected in Indiana and Ohio. But the forecast for below-normal temps across the Central Corn Belt signals soils will be slow to warm. Click here for related maps.



WET CONDITIONS WILL PROHIBIT MIDWEST FIELDWORK... Meteorologist Gail Martell of MartellCropProjections.com says wet conditions will prohibit producers from making strong planting progress across the Corn Belt this week. She says, "Soil temperatures are warm enough to begin planting corn in the southern Midwest, but wet fields are keeping farmers on the sidelines. Central Illinois has received 3 to 6 times the normal rainfall in the recent 2-3 weeks, generating a 3-inch moisture surplus. In the Northern Midwest, Wisconsin, Minnesota, northern Iowa and South Dakota, field temperatures are still too cold for fieldwork to begin, averaging 37 F and well below the 52 F required to germinate seeds. The driest corn state is Nebraska, which received 4-6 inches of much-needed precipitation the past 30 days."

With a near-daily chance of rain in the forecast this week across the bulk of the Corn Belt and temps expected to dip as the week progresses, we wonder how many more days it will be before producers are able to get back into fields and make active progress. Where do things stand in your neck of the woods? Tell us your location and click here to send your comments about fieldwork progress (or the lack thereof). We will not publish names. Crop comments are available at this link.



POSITIVE SAFRINHA CORN CROP OUTLOOK IN MATO GROSSO... South American crop consultant Dr. Michael Cordonnier says the safrinha corn crop in Mato Grosso is pollinating or entering the grain filling stage in good shape. The earlier planted crop that is filling grain needs just another 1 to 2 inches of rain to assure good yields. But he says corn prices have already dropped more than anticipated and producers expect prices to fall below the cost of production. As a result, just 22% of the crop has been forward priced, compared to 47% last year at this time. Click here for more.



NEW DAIRY POLICY BILL HIGHLIGHTS SUPPLY MANAGEMENT CONTROVERSY... Two House Agriculture Committee members, Reps. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and David Scott (D-Ga.), recently introduced a dairy policy bill that an International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) press release says, "forges a bipartisan compromise approach to reforming U.S. dairy policy." The association says the Dairy Freedom Act "provides a safety net for dairy farmers that would establish a new revenue insurance program for times of low milk prices and high feed costs."

The plan would establish a new Dairy Producer Margin Insurance Program and would repeal the Dairy Product Price Support Program, the Milk Income Loss Contract Program and the Dairy Export Incentive Program. With one major exception, the bill is similar to one offered in the last Congress by Rep. Collin Peterson (D-Minn.), ranking member on the House Ag panel. The exception: it does not include the controversial supply management program called the Dairy Market Stabilization Program. Click here for more on the controversy surrounding a supply management program for dairy and reactions to this new bill.


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