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April 24, 2018

U.S. Corn Planting 5% (average is 14%), Soy 2% (average is 2%)

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

After weeks of winter-like weather, more spring-like conditions are finally emerging across the Midwest and farmers are anxious to get in the fields. Up to this point, U.S. farmers have managed to plant 5% of their intended 2018 corn acreage compared to 15% last year and 14% for the 5-year average. The U.S. soybean crop is 2% planted compared to 5% last year and 2% for the 5-year average.

Most of the corn planting of course has been in the southern locations. Of the major corn producing states, 16% of the corn has been planted in Missouri, 4% in Illinois, 2% in Nebraska, 1% in Indiana, 0% in Iowa. Almost all the soybeans planted thus far have been in the southern locations with Mississippi 30% planted (average is 28%), Louisiana 26% planted (average is 31%), and Arkansas 21% planted (average is 16%).

The weather going forward does seem to be improving with warmer temperatures and dryer conditions. It looks like next week could be a big planting week in the Midwest.

I won't get overly concerned about corn planting delays until we get into early May. We would like to have about half of the U.S. corn crop planted by May 7-10. If we don't have half of the corn planted by that date, then there is possibility that some of the corn will be planted after about May 15th, which is when the average corn yield generally starts to decline in the Midwest.

There was an interesting article published last week in FarmDoc Daily from the University of Illinois concerning how long it takes to plant the U.S. corn crop. They analyzed the planting progress in Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa going back to 1980 and they concluded that it takes on average, 14 days for farmers in those three states to plant their entire corn crop. They assume that these three states are representative of the entire Corn Belt, so they concluded that it takes about two weeks of good planting weather to plant the U.S. corn crop.