MARTELL: U.S. CORN CROP OFF TO SHAKY START... Meteorologist Gail Martell of MartellCropProjections.com says the U.S. corn crop is off to a shaky start due excessive rainfall across Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin and North Dakota. On top of heavy rainfall, she notes that below-normal temps on average for the region have also contributed to a crop that is behind the average pace of development.
"Iowa rainfall this season to date is 178% of normal, while the national April-May rainfall is 141% of average. Weather records are always a red flag for crop damage. Last year it was historic drought, this year, excessive wetness threatening to produce severe damage in corn," notes Martell. "The forecast continues wet in the Midwest as recurring thunderstorms develop along a stalled frontal boundary the next few days." Click here for the 21-day precip map.
NWS 6- to 10-DAY FORECAST WET FOR CENTRAL CORN BELT... The National Weather Service forecast for June 19-23 calls for above-normal precip for the already-soaked central Corn Belt. The forecast also calls for above-normal temps for much of the Corn Belt, which will help with growing degree day accumulation. Click here for related maps.
DROUGHT FOOTPRINT GRADUALLY SHRINKING... This week's National Drought Monitor reflected further drought improvement, but still shows a majority of the contiguous U.S. covered by some form of drought. This week's monitor shows 54.98% of the nation covered by drought, compared to 56.87% last week. Some category improvements were noted in the drought areas from South Dakota southward, but a large portion of the western Southern Plains remains entrenched with "extreme" to "exceptional" drought. Click here for related maps.
ISU EXTENSION ON PLANTING DATE'S IMPACT ON IOWA SOYBEAN YIELDS... Iowa State University Extension offers some insight as to what impact planting date has on Iowa soybean yields by looking at data from 1995 to 1997. According to ISU data, there was no statistically significant impact on yield until June. Iowa soybeans planted in mid-June for these years realized the following percentages of potential yield: Northern Iowa: 61%; central Iowa: 59%; and southern Iowa: 82%.
Early July planting of soybeans saw a major drop in the crop's potential yield percentage. ISU data points to the following percentages of potential yield: 33% in northern Iowa; 45% in central Iowa; and 47% in southern Iowa. For more details on the interaction of planting date and maturity group on physiological maturity date, click here.
USDA MAKES NOTE OF STUDY IN CORN BALANCE SHEET... Traders gave yesterday's USDA 2013-14 corn carryover projection a bearish read , as they expected a steeper cut to the corn crop due to delayed planting. At the top of the WASDE report was this note, "Because planting is still underway in the Northern Hemisphere and remains several months away in the Southern Hemisphere, these projections are highly tentative. National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) forecasts are used for U.S. winter wheat area, yield, and production. For other U.S. crops, methods used to project acreage and yield are noted on each table."
In the notes provided below the U.S. corn S&D table, USDA had this to say regarding production projections: "Projected yield based on a weather adjusted trend, lowered to reflect the asymmetric yield response to July precipitation and the slow pace of May planting. (See Westcott and Jewison, Weather Effects on Expected Corn and Soybean Yields, USDA Agricultural Outlook Forum 2013, February 22, 2013.)"
You can take a look at the Westcott/Jewison study provided at this link. It provides perspective as to USDA's methodology and thought process when they hash out the production side of the corn and soybean balance sheets.