Corn Bulls Look to Planting Progress and Production Issues...

Published on: 07:28AM May 13, 2014

Corn has fallen under "technical" pressure as of late. The JUL14 contract closed below the $5.00 level which could cause some psychological headwinds.  A close below $4.80 remains a more longer-term concern and a level that has not been breached since early March. With the tensions in Ukraine taking more of a backseat the trade is left to focus more exclusively on the US crop. As we found out from the USDA this past Friday, they are not yet concerned about yields or total acreage.  In other words "total" US corn production remains at lofty levels and new-crop ending stocks at a burdensome 1.726 billion bushels. Without the geopolitical tail risk story, it becomes more essential for weather and more worrisome crop production headlines to fill the void. Right now that's just not the case. Demand is defiantly strong and is playing a good lead roll, but it still needs a supporting cast of bullish characters to keep the facade alive.  Yes, the bulls can certainly argue there are some production areas in question, but on the flip side the bears can debate the argument by talking about more "total crop acres" needing to come into the equation and some areas seeing almost ideal early conditions.   As you can see from the map we included below, a large portion of US corn growers made some significant gains in planting last week.  The USDA now has 59% of the crop planted vs. most in the trade looking for a number closer to 55%.  CLICK HERE for my daily report...   

Lots of comparisons being made to the 2009 crop year:  There are many sources in the trade talking about the early similarities of this crop year and the 2009 crop year. In 2009 the USDA estimated on May 10th that 48% of the US cron crop had been planted and on May 17th 62% had been planted.  As you can see this is fairly close to this years pace.  The kicker is 2009 was the year we posted the record corn yield of nearly 165 bushels per acre. 

USDA's Corn Planting Pace Data:  


  • There is talk with the dry window in the forecast we could be at more than 80% planted by next Sunday's deadline. Which would basically be right in line with what the USDA likes to see.  
  • IA pours it on and gets 47% of their corn crop in the ground last week. Still has roughly 4 million acres left to plant. 
  • IN jumps from 23% planted to 61%; NE from 44% to 77%; OH from just 9% to 40%; IL from 43% toy 78%; CO from 35% to 64% 
  • ND was reported at just 3% planted. Could be a problem with "final" plant dates approaching towards the end of May. It is believe that ND still has a little over 2.5 million acres to plant. 
  • MN might be the most concerning with just 31% planted, meaning they still have around 5.9 million acres left to plant.   
  • Corn is now 18% emerged vs. just 5% emerged at this point last year. MN, ND and WI still showing 0% of the corn crop emerged. CLICK HERE for my daily report...