Highly rated crops

Farm Forum

05/27/15 — Despite recently wet conditions in the western Corn Belt, planting of corn and soybeans continues to be well ahead of normal planting pace in the Corn Belt. Also, HRS wheat and barley planting are also well advanced in the northern plains, with crops highly rated as well with large improvements this week. With wetter than normal soils and early planting, this could be a recipe for high yields in 2015, and low prices.

The western Corn Belt lately has been the wet area, with states such as Colorado (only 66% planted corn vs. 90% normally), Kansas (84% planted vs. 92% normally), Missouri (85% planted vs. 90% normally), and Texas (77% planted vs. 95% normally) struggling to complete corn planting. Corn is 92% planted nationally, still ahead of normal pace of 88% planted so the other states are well ahead of normal. Corn emergence is at 74% vs. 62% normally, with corn conditions rated a high 74% G/E. The preliminary Pro Ag yield model is at 168.6 bu/acre, well above trend of 162.7 bu/acre and USDA at 166.8 bu/acre. So corn has a good start, with early planting and high ratings.

Winter wheat is 77% headed vs. 67% normally, with conditions rated 45% G/E, unchanged from last week. The Pro Ag yield model rose once again another .25 bu/acre to 48.66 bu/acre, well above USDA at only 43.5 bu/acre and well above trend of 47.26 bu/acre. Clearly, USDA will need to raise the winter wheat yield estimate the next few months, especially as yield reports start to roll in. Perhaps that is one reason wheat prices dove 21c lower yesterday, 5/26?

Soybean planting advanced 16% last week, with 61% now planted vs. 55% normally so we still are ahead of normal pace despite the wet weather in the western Corn Belt the last few weeks. Soybean emergence is at 32% vs. 25% normally. Cotton is only 47% planted vs. 61% normally, the only crop behind average pace besides sorghum (41% planted vs. 46% normally) as the southwest has been the wettest lately. Peanuts are 68% planted vs. 67% normally, while rice is 93% planted vs. 92% normally, with conditions rated 66% G/E (unchanged from last week).

Sunflowers are 26% planted vs. 15% normally, while HRS wheat is 96% planted vs. 79% normally. HRS wheat is 80% emerged vs. 54% normally, with conditions rising 4% to 69% rated G/E as the crop is drying out from previously soaking conditions. Oats is 91% emerged vs. 79% normally, with 26% headed vs. 30% normally and conditions dropped 3% from last week to 70% rated G/E. Barley is 86% emerged and conditions rose 10% to 74% rated G/E, a large rise from last week. Pasture and range conditions rose to 60% rated G/E, up 3% from last week and well above last year’s 46% rating as the west has received very beneficial rainfall the past 3 weeks. Topsoil moisture is nationally rated 84% adequate/surplus, up 12% from last week and well above 66% a year ago. Subsoil moisture is 81% rated adequate/surplus, up 3% from last week and vs. only 62% last year. We have an early-planted crop for the most part with good soil moisture, a deadly combination for achieving high yields!

Areas of the western Corn Belt might continue to struggle to complete planting, but for the most part we still have an early-planted crop nationally on most crops, and a well-watered soil moisture level that is so far favorable for the crop development. The large rise in conditions in HRS wheat and barley are evidence of the drying out of the northern plains, and the high rating of corn initially this year means the Corn Belt for the most part is also in good shape. Prices may continue to suffer under these scenarios, especially with a 14 day forecast that starts to dry out the central/western Corn Belt in the coming few weeks.