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May 2, 2017

Cold and Wet Weather Slows U.S. Planting, Replanting Possible

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

The weather this past weekend in the U.S. was cold and wet across nearly the entire Corn Belt. The heaviest rainfall amounts were recorded in the southern and eastern Corn Belt as well as across the mid-South. Eastern Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, and Indiana recorded the heaviest amounts of 4 to 6 inches with isolated heavier amounts. In the western plains, there were heavy snows from South Dakota all the way south to the panhandle of Texas. In the northwestern Corn Belt, it wasn't as wet, but it was colder with daytime high temperatures only in the 40's and 50's in many locations.

Corn - Many farmers were able to plant corn earlier last week before the wet weather moved in and nationwide, the 2017 U.S. corn crop is now 34% planted compared to 43% last year and 34% average. The most advanced corn planting is in Illinois at 63% (average is 47%), Missouri at 67% (average is 56%), Indiana 45% (average is 25%), and Ohio 42% (average is 21%). As expected, the slowest planting progress was in the northwestern Corn Belt with 3% of corn planted in North Dakota (average is 15%), 7% in South Dakota (average is 20%), 12% in Minnesota (average is 36%), and 28% in Iowa (average is 35%).

The corn planting came in a little better than expected because it was propelled forward by the rapid advance in the eastern Corn Belt, but some of the corn in Missouri, Illinois, and maybe Indiana as well as the northern Delta may now need to be replanted. The corn emergence is 9% compared to 12% last year and 8% average. The emergence is also a little better than expected once again due to the rapid emergence in Illinois and the mid-South.

I think the planting progress next Monday will be a better judge of how well the overall corn planting will be this spring.

Soybeans - The 2017 U.S. soybean crop is 10% planted compared to 7% last year and 7% average. Most of the soybean planting thus far has been in the southern locations, the Delta, and the eastern Corn Belt. The soybean planting in the Delta is 20-30% ahead of average and the soybean planting in the eastern Corn Belt is 7-9% ahead of the average. Soybean planting in the western and the northwestern Corn Belt is a few percentage points slower than average.

Many of the areas where the soybean planting is most advanced are also areas that received very heavy rains over the weekend. As a result some of those soybeans will now have to be replanted.

Any time there is a cold and wet weather pattern in early May, the question always arises about how late the corn can be planted. Generally, corn yields start to decline in the central Corn Belt if the corn is planted after about mid-May and the yield loses accelerate for each day the planting is delayed.

As far as crop insurance is concerned, there are definite calendar dates by which the corn must be planted if the crop is to be covered by crop insurance. The final planting date for corn in Nebraska, much of South Dakota and North Dakota as well as far northern Minnesota is May 25th. For Iowa, much of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and southeastern South Dakota the final planting date is May 31st. For most of Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Michigan, the corn must be planted by June 5th.