Views differ on corn planting progress

by Ron Sterk
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KANSAS CITY — While generally good corn- planting progress was made last week, traders’ ideas of progress vary widely ahead of the US Department of Agricultures’ May 20 Crop Progress report. And, what progress was made came to a temporary halt in many areas early this week with widespread heavy rainfall across much of the Midwest Sunday night into Monday (May 20).

“Traders expect [corn] planting to range from 55 percent to 70 percent completed,” a report on the LSN newswire said, “that’s off from the 81 percent long-term average for this period.”

The newswire also said traders expected soybean planting to advance to 25 percent to 30 percent completed as May 19, which also would be below the 42 percent average for the date.

Anecdotal reports indicated very active planting across the Midwest late into the weekend, but also a considerable number of fields yet untended.

In its May 13 Crop Progress report, the USDA said corn planting in the 18 major states was 28 percent completed as of May 12, far behind 85 percent a year earlier and 65 percent as the 2008-12 average for the date.

Soybean planting as of May 12 was only 6 percent completed compared with 43 percent a year earlier and 24 percent as the five-year average. The USDA will issue its latest weekly Crop Progress report at 3:00 p.m. Central Time on May 20.

An agricultural economist from Kansas State Univ. said late planted corn may yield 6 percent to 8 percent less than average, and forecast that US farmers may switch from 2 million to 4 million acres from corn to soybeans.

A Univ. of Illinois study indicated average yields in that state tend to decline by 8 percent for corn planted after May 10, by 15 percent after May 20 and by 25 percent after June 1.

Late last week, consultant Informa Economics forecast 2013 US corn planted area at 96.8 million acres, down about 500,000 acres from the USDA’s most recent projection of 97.3 million acres. Informa forecast US soybean area at 78.3 million acres, up 1.2 million acres from the latest USDA projection of 77.1 million acres.

New crop corn and soybean futures prices at the CME Group were slightly lower in overnight trading early May 20.
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