Corn+Soybean Digest [1]

U.S. Corn Conditions Improve on Warming Weather

The condition of the U.S. corn [4] crop improved last week and soybean [5] planting picked up speed as warming weather boosted fieldwork and crop development across the Midwest.

In Monday afternoon’s weekly crop update [6], USDA [7] rated U.S. corn conditions 71% good/excellent up from 67% a week earlier. USDA reported that 93% of the U.S. corn crop had been planted by Sunday with 71% of the crop emerged, up from only 50% a year earlier and the five-year average of 62%.

U.S. soybean planting reached 53% complete, up from 38% percent a week earlier and 44% a year earlier, but behind the five-year average of 57%. Nationwide soybean emergence was put at 24% as of Sunday, up from 13% a week earlier, 15% a year earlier and an average pace of 23%. USDA has not yet rated soybean conditions.

The good/excellent rating for the corn crop in the top-producing state of Iowa jumped 10 percentage points to 65% good/excellent as warmer weather helped the crop recovery from the effects of an early May frost [8]. There have been only a few reports of replanting due to frost damage.

With 98% of the Iowa crop planted, 84% had emerged as of Sunday, ahead of 75% last year and the five-year average of 70%.

There are crop concerns in southeast Iowa, which has received more than 10 in. of rain this month, the Iowa office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service [9] reported. Emerged corn there is lacking color and standing water in low-lying fields will not allow newly planted corn to survive, NASS said.

USDA reported that 75% of the Iowa soybean crop had been planted by Sunday, up from the five-year average of 72%. Iowa soybean emergence was pegged at 28%, 6 points ahead of the five-year average.

In Illinois, the corn crop was rated 77% good/excellent as of Sunday, up from 73% a week earlier. Some 97% of the Illinois crop had been planted, with 87% emerged, compared with emergence of only 20% a year earlier and the five-year average of 69%.

Wet conditions kept many producers out of the fields and Illinois soybean planting advanced only 5 percentage points on the week to 47% done, falling behind the five-year average of 54%. The planting pace, however, was still well ahead of a year earlier, when just 10% of the crop had been planted.

The average height of Illinois corn plants was estimated at 6 in. compared with the five-year average of 5 in. Illinois producers are discovering more corn acreage in need of replanting due to flooding from previous weeks, the state office of NASS reported.

Editor’s note: Richard Brock, Corn & Soybean Digest's marketing editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.