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May 16, 2017

2017 U.S. Planting Catches up to Average Pace, Corn 71% Planted

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

It is amazing how much U.S. farmers can plant in a short period of time if the conditions are right. Last week was the best week thus far for planting and farmers took advantage of the improved conditions. The 2017 U.S. corn crop is now 71% planted compared to 73% last year and 70% average. The corn emergence is 31% compared to 41% last year and 36% average.

Corn planting leapt ahead of the average pace in the western Corn Belt, while it was a little slower than average in the eastern Corn Belt. The corn in Iowa is now 85% planted (average is 75%), Minnesota is 84% (average is 70%), Nebraska is 78% (average is 76%), South Dakota is 77% (average is 68%), and North Dakota is 58% (average is 53%).

I thought the two big winners this week were Minnesota and Iowa. Corn planting in Minnesota went from 20% behind average last week to 14% ahead of average this week. Iowa went from 3% behind last week to 10% ahead this week.

In the eastern Corn Belt, corn planting remained a little slower than average with Illinois 75% planted (average is 77%), Indiana is 56% (average is 62%), Ohio is 49% (average is 57%), and Michigan is 30% (average is 47%). I thought the disappointing states this week were Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana.

Farmers also made good progress with their soybean planting that is now 32% complete compared to 34% last year and 32% average. The soybean emergence is 8% compared to 9% last year and 9% average. The pattern for the soybean planting was similar to that of the corn crop in that the western Corn Belt is a little ahead of average and the eastern Corn Belt is a little behind average.

While the planting pace accelerated last week across almost the entire Midwest, there are still areas of concern especially across the southern Corn Belt and the mid-South where they received more rainfall again last week. The main areas of concern are Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Missouri. Farmers in the hardest hit areas are still assessing damage from the heavy rains and flooding and they are replanting their crops where possible. In these areas there are going to be some low lying areas along rivers that will probably be claimed as prevent plant and other areas that will be replanted or switched to other crops.

In the eastern Corn Belt, the topsoil moisture is 40-50% saturated which has slowed the planting progress and will probably result in crusting problems. There will be some replanting needed in the eastern Corn Belt, but it is too early to say how much.