How Much Will Midwest Rains Slow Spring Planting?

April 18, 2017 12:32 PM
 
The Midwest has seen its share of rainfall this month.

Almost perfect – but not quite. That’s how many Midwest farmers would describe the weather so far in April. Temperatures have been amenable, but precipitation has put more than a few planting schedules on pause.

“We’ve had a lot of precipitation coming in through here [the Corn Belt] in April, says Eric Snodgrass, atmospheric scientist with Agrible. “It’s been a blessing, and it’s also been a problem. The blessing is it’s really helped to erode the drought … but it’s also keeping a lot of folks out of fields.”

According to the latest Crop Progress report, issued April 17 by the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS), corn planting progress is at 6%, compared to 12% a year ago and 9% for the 5-year average. Key states of note include Illinois (6% versus 13% 5-year average), Indiana (4% vs. 6%), Iowa (2% vs. 4%), Kansas (9% vs. 18%) and Missouri (17% vs. 25%).

Spring wheat is similarly behind, with 13% planted versus 21% for the 5-year average.

Meantime, crops planted further south are on schedule or even ahead of schedule. Cotton is 8% planted, compared to 7% last year and 9% for the 5-year average. Sorghum is also moving along on time, with 21% planted compared to 16% last year and a 20% 5-year average. And rice is significantly ahead of schedule – 55% planted compared to 46% last year and 37% for the 5-year average.

Several analysts, including Farm Bureau’s director of market intelligence, John Newton, have been monitoring upcoming forecasts for the possibility of additional planting delays. Newton says a sluggish start in mid-April is less worrisome because the most active planting period continues through mid-May.

“In recent years, we’ve seen growers respond quickly to planting delays by increasing productivity later in the planting season,” he notes. “For example, in 2014, corn growers dropped 56% of the corn crop in the ground during the two weeks prior to the mid-May target. In 2013, growers planted 43% of the corn crop between May 19 and May 26. Farmers will have opportunities, and have the technology, to recover from any early season slowdowns.”

Even so, weather will remain a key driver of market uncertainty, Newton adds. Poor crop conditions this spring and summer will knock down production potential and prop up prices. On the other hand, a new bumper crop will further test price lows seen in recent years, he says.

Back to news


Million Dollar Wildfire Relief Challenge

Click here to learn more about the Million Dollar Wildfire Relief Challenge, and see how you can help in the rebuilding effort.


 

RELATED CONTENT

Comments

 
Spell Check

No comments have been posted to this News Article

Corn College TV Education Series

2014_Team_Shot_with_Logo

Get nearly 8 hours of educational video with Farm Journal's top agronomists. Produced in the field and neatly organized by topic, from spring prep to post-harvest. Order now!

Markets

Market Data provided by Barchart.com
brought-by
Close