Corn Planting Passes Midpoint, Farmers Continue Impressive Pace
May 04, 2015
Farmers had corn planters in overdrive last week trying to take advantage of the phenomenal spring weather. Corn planting estimates flew past the five-year average reporting over a 30% increase in acres planted from last week. Corn emergence still lags the five-year average but is expected to pick up after the large gains being made in planting. Farmers who completed their corn planting did not skip a beat and moved right to soybeans. Winter wheat conditions remain well above last year’s estimates, while spring wheat planting nears completion.
The USDA estimated 55% of corn acres were planted across the U.S. as of May 3rd, a 36% increase from the prior week and 17% more than the fiver-year average. Of the five largest corn producing states in the U.S., Minnesota reported the highest level of completion at 83%, followed by Illinois at 69%, and Iowa at 68%. Indiana was the lowest of the five states, reporting only 21% of acres planted.
Corn emergence was reported 9% emerged, a 7% increase from last week, but 3% behind the five-year average. Of the five largest corn producing states, Illinois has reported the most emerged corn, at 15% followed by Nebraska at 9%. Indiana reported the lowest of the five states, at 1%.
The soybeans crop was reported 11% planted, an 11% increase from last week, and 4% ahead of the five-year average. With questionable planting weather in the forecast for the next two weeks, farmers who completed their corn planting immediately switched to soybeans.
The winter wheat crop was reported 43% headed, a 15% increase from last week and 9% ahead of the five-year average. The USDA estimated winter wheat conditions at 43% “Excellent” or “Good”, a 1% increase from last week and a 12% increase from last year. 37% was rated fair, a 1% decrease from last week. 20% was rated “Poor” or “Very Poor”, unchanged from last week, but an 18% decrease from last year.
The spring wheat crop was reported 75% planted, a 20% increase from last week and a 35% increase from the five-year average. Spring wheat emergence was reported 30% emerged, a 21% increase from last week and a 14% increase from the five-year average.
May futures for corn closed the week at $3.58 per bushel, a 0.6% decrease from last week. May soybeans ended the week at $9.83, a 1.0% increase from last week, and May wheat ended the week at $4.69, a 0.2% decrease from last week. Year-to-year corn prices are down 28.8%, soybeans are down 33.2%, and wheat is down 35.0%.
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