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  • Most of this year's corn crop is planted. But, the remaining acres may not be the easiest to get sown, if they do at all. So, what are the implications of the current planting pace and what could that mean to prices down the road? At the beginning of this week, 85% of the U.S. crop was in the ground, and though rainfall and lingering damp soils have likely limited progress over the last few days and is expected to do the same over much of the next week, more of the crop is slowly making its way into the soil.Then again, the optimal planting window has closed...quite some time ago for some farmers. That means any corn planted from this point on won't yield as much as that planted under conditions closer to "ideal" earlier in the spring, agronomists agree. But, how much yield potential's been lost? More importantly, what is the market's perception of what's going on around the country? The answer to the first question is fairly well-known and may not have a whole lot of influence over the second question's answer."[A USDA model shows] the U.S. average corn yield is increased by 0.289 bushels per acre for each percentage of the crop that is planted by May 15. In this model, acreage planted by May 15 is considered not to be late planted. As a result, the yield impact of each percentage of the crop planted late (defined as after May 15) has an equal but opposite impact on yield," according to a report from a team of University of Illinois Extension ag economists led by Scott Irwin. "Based on the USDA crop weather model, the yield impact of late planting that exceeds average is not trivial. The percent of the U.S. corn crop planted after May 15 averaged 28% from 1988 through 2014, but ranged from 8 to 63%. Late planting that exceeds average by as little as 5 points would be expected to reduce the national average yield by about 1.5 bushels per acre."Irwin and fellow U of I economists Darrel Good and John Newton used long-term production data over the last 25+ years compiled by U of I corn agronomist Emerson Nafziger to yield these figures as well as the projection for this year's expected tally of "late-planted corn." Ultimately, they say they expect about 18% of this year's corn crop to fall in the "late planted" category nationwide, and based on their research, that's likely to mean an average corn yield for the nation of just shy of 167 bushels/acre.What's that mean to the grain market? Though they admit it's way too early and there are too many other factors in play at this stage in the game, the U of I economists say at this stage, the market may be overestimating the current yield potential in corn fields in the U.S. "At 166.9 bushels, that yield expectation is, not surprisingly, almost identical to the current USDA projection of 166.8 bushels," according to Irwin, Good and Newton. "Since the corn market reflects both supply and demand considerations, it is difficult to determine what expected yield the market is currently trading, but it is our judgement that the market may be trading an expected yield in the 168 to 169 bushel range."Germination SuccessPublished: 5/22/2015I interviewed a handful of people from Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa yesterday on their germination success. The majority of corn looks great, but there are areas where that's not the case. The link below will take you to the article. http://www.agriculture.com/news/crops/istates-mixed-on-cn-germination-success_2-ar48931 Kacey.5 Reasons to ScoutPublished: 5/21/2015Nerves are starting to flare as the end of May is quickly approaching. While the majority of corn has been planted and soybean acres are climbing, there are still a number of issues farmers need to keep a watchful eye on. Here are several things you'll want to stay ahead of this spring.Continuous cornPublished: 5/21/2015All, Back in 12/2013, I wrote a story (see below link) about corn on corn. At that time, it still seemed the thing to do, given some fairly high prices. I thought it would have, but the 3/31/15 USDA planting intentions report showing corn acres above trade expectations blew my thinking (and ...I-States Mixed On Corn Germination SuccessPublished: 5/21/2015Though most Corn Belt states have had excellent emergence, some have experienced more of a mixed bag. Midwest farmers who have been able to enjoy ideal planting windows experienced dry conditions, mixed with warm spells. "Germination is always good, and this year was no exception," says Emerson Nafziger, Extension agronomist at the University of Illinois.Late Planting Nerves Flaring Up Around the Corn BeltPublished: 5/21/2015This weekend marks the unofficial start to summer. where it's needed least in the coming days; in fact, the outlook has some farmers starting to think in terms of tardiness for a spring planting pace that was just a couple of weeks ago steaming along at a speedy pace. Based on the forecast, it will be June before we put a bean in the ground.Growing Degree Days Keeping Up Despite Cool, Damp Weather -- USDAPublished: 5/19/2015Though Monday's USDA Crop Progress report showed another big week of planting progress, it certainly wasn't a dry week, with anywhere from half an inch to 2 inches of rain falling through the Corn Belt and heavier amounts up to 4 inches in the Dakotas and northern Corn Belt, according to Tuesday's USDA Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin.Palmer amaranthPublished: 5/19/2015All, I've done quite a bit on Palmer amaranth, and plan to do so again. This pigweed has been a huge problem in mid-South states like Arkansas, and it has been found as far north as in Michigan and South Dakota. Have you heard any reports of it surfacing in your area. Thanks, Gil Gullickson Crops Technology Editor.Get Frosty? Don't Rush to Judgment Yet, Especially for SoybeansPublished: 5/19/2015The early verdict on the overnight cooldown in the northern Plains and Corn Belt is some crop may need to be replanted, but on the whole, damage could have been way worse. Expectations heading into the chilly overnight period were for frosting and freezing temperatures to stretch south as far as northern Nebraska in the Plains and down to around the Minnesota/Iowa border.#Grow15 Crop PhotosPublished: 5/19/2015With 85% of the nation’s corn crop planted and more than half of that emerged, posts on social media are quickly transitioning from the popular #plant15 to #grow15. Click through this slideshow to see state-by-state updates on corn growth. Crop data is based on Monday’s USDA-NASS Crop Progress report for the week ending May 17.Did Your Corn Get Nipped by Frost? Here's What to Look ForPublished: 5/18/2015Chat the chilly forecast for the northern Plains in Marketing Talk See more of the outlook for tonight's weather If you're in a potentially affected area and anticipate frost or freezing temperatures tonight, you may be chomping at the bit to drag the winter coat back out of the closet and check your fields in the morning after the sun rises and reveals what sort of damage a late-season Jack Frost may have inflicted.

  • Long Weekend Can Mean Market VolatilityAfter several corn and soybean contracts mad new lows this week, traders fear the upcoming holiday weekend could provide a volatile return to the electronic markets Monday night. Due to Memorial Day, the CME Group futures markets day-trading session will be closed Monday. The fear is that the position you hold on a trade on Friday may get away from you, if the Midwest planting and crop-weather forecasts change significantly by Monday night. Going into the weekend, the non-threatening weather (cool and wet is not viewed as bullish for prices) prevails. “I do not see any weather problems in any ones forecast. But, if one (inclement weather forecast) develops, the huge fund short position sets up a violent rally back -- some day,” says Al Kluis, Kluis Commodities.See moreLate Planting Nerves Flaring Up Around the Corn BeltThis weekend marks the unofficial start to summer. But, the way Mother Nature's acting, she's not quite ready for "swimsuit season." Temperatures are expected to stay below normal and rainfall's likely to fall in amounts greater than normal in parts of the central U.S. where it's needed least in the coming days; in fact, the outlook has some farmers starting to think in terms of tardiness for a spring planting pace that was just a couple of weeks ago steaming along at a speedy pace. Concerns like these may be premature in some cases, but in others, could justify a change in course at this point in the season. If you find yourself "seriously delayed," you may consider switching hybrids for any remaining corn acres."See more & join the chatHow's your corn emergence? Though most Corn Belt states have had excellent emergence, some have experienced more of a mixed bag. Midwest farmers who have been able to enjoy ideal planting windows experienced dry conditions, mixed with warm spells. However, others were dealt cool, wet conditions, and rain remains in the forecast. Where the corn could be planted, it looks like it’s off to a good start -- all things considered. Those factors? Rain and cold temperatures. Conditions weren’t ideal for tillage last fall or this spring, and now one agronomist is concerned about planter compaction. What else is challenging early corn development around the Corn Belt? Check in with agronomists and farmers around the Midwest.I-States Mixed On Corn Germination SuccessGrowing Degree Days Keeping Up Despite Cool, Damp Weather Early Soybean Diseases Flaring Up -- Agronomists5 Reasons to Scout

  • Wheat's leading the way headed into Friday's trade.Though there are some technical reasons for the upturn, wheat futures appear to be moving higher as worries grow in parts of the Wheat Belt about the condition of the crop there as rain continues to fall and disease continues to spread. Heading into the extended Memorial Day holiday weekend, wheat looks to have the most upside, and though the deteriorating crop conditions are a big part of the equation, it's just part of an equation that could yield wheat leading the other grains higher."Wheat led the way higher for most of the grain complex on Thursday. Corn was able to bounce from the $3.60 area while soybeans closed under $9.40. The US dollar has rebounded from recent lows, but will likely find stiff resistance near 96. Crude oil continues to trade sideways between $58 and $62 per barrel," says Bob Linneman, Kluis Commodities market analyst. "Wheat has staged a very nice rally the last two weeks while corn has stalled and soybeans have made new lows. If wheat can continue to post new highs, then I think corn and soybeans may benefit from spillover buying."Check the latest grain prices Check the holiday trading scheduleMixed planting progress is expected this weekend.This weekend marks the unofficial start to summer. But, the way Mother Nature's acting, she's not quite ready for "swimsuit season." Temperatures are expected to stay below normal and rainfall's likely to fall in amounts greater than normal in parts of the central U.S. where it's needed least in the coming days; in fact, the outlook has some farmers starting to think in terms of tardiness for a spring planting pace that was just a couple of weeks ago steaming along at a speedy pace. The weather window will likely be open for planting today, however; forecasters say the rain will pause until anywhere between Saturday and Sunday in western and southern portions of the Corn Belt -- the region where the rain's needed least -- resuming later in the weekend through that part of the region and beyond the early part of next week. The continued wet pattern for much of crop country -- including the Wheat Belt in the Plains, where continued rain in some areas has leaf and stripe rust and other diseases flaring up -- is cause for worry for many farmers who have corn and soybeans left to plant. Will you be running your planter well into June?See more: Late Planting Nerves Flaring Up Around the Corn BeltJoin the chat: June beans?How's corn emergence going?Though most Corn Belt states have had excellent emergence, some have experienced more of a mixed bag. Midwest farmers who have been able to enjoy ideal planting windows experienced dry conditions, mixed with warm spells. However, others were dealt cool, wet conditions, and rain remains in the forecast. “Germination is always good, and this year was no exception,” says Emerson Nafziger, Extension agronomist at the University of Illinois. “There aren’t very many stand problems in Illinois. Most people have made good planting progress.”Dave Mowers, agronomist at AIM for the Heartland located in Wyoming, IL, says this is the best emergence he’s ever seen. “We’ve had cold weather and the crop is growing slowly, but the corn was planted in nearly perfect soil conditions with adequate warmth at the time of planting,” says Mowers. But that’s not the case for everyone. The state of Indiana is really a mixed bag, says Bob Nielsen, Extension corn specialist at Purdue University. See more reports on how the crop's emerging

  • Though most Corn Belt states have had excellent emergence, some have experienced more of a mixed bag. Midwest farmers who have been able to enjoy ideal planting windows experienced dry conditions, mixed with warm spells. However, others were dealt cool, wet conditions, and rain remains in the forecast. “Germination is always good, and this year was no exception,” says Emerson Nafziger, Extension agronomist at the University of Illinois. “There aren’t very many stand problems in Illinois. Most people have made good planting progress.”Dave Mowers, agronomist at AIM for the Heartland located in Wyoming, IL, says this is the best emergence he’s ever seen.“We’ve had cold weather and the crop is growing slowly, but the corn was planted in nearly perfect soil conditions with adequate warmth at the time of planting,” says Mowers.But that’s not the case for everyone. The state of Indiana is really a mixed bag, says Bob Nielsen, Extension corn specialist at Purdue University.Indiana“We’ve had a lot problems getting the crop planted around the state,” says Nielsen. “If you look at the statewide averages, we’re on par. But there are pockets that continue to get rain.”Where the corn could be planted, Nielsen says it looks like it’s off to a good start – all things considered. Those factors? Rain and cold temperatures. Conditions weren’t ideal for tillage last fall or this spring, and now Nielsen is concerned about planter compaction. “We’re waiting for the other shoe to drop,” says Nielsen. Of course, nothing says it’ll automatically happen.Craig Stevens, crop consultant with Ceres Solutions in Medaryville, Indiana, says his territory hasn’t been so fortunate. With only 2/3 of the corn crop planted, Stevens spots issues in every field.“We’ve had big time rains, and we’ve never been able to dry out,” says Stevens. “Cooler temperatures have created germination issues.”“The corn that was planted early doesn’t look bad from a distance, but get in the field and you notice the issues,” says Stevens. “The color doesn’t look good. We need it to turn sunny and about 75°. It would clear up.”Without successful germination, Steven expects to see replant in his territory this year. There are isolated pockets where the corn never came up; some are large enough they’ll need to replant.Soybeans are more difficult to figure, says Stevens. “Some growers are half done with soybeans, and some haven’t started. I’d say 25% of them are in the ground.”For farmers weighing their options on whether to finish corn planting in wet conditions or wait for it to dry out – when rain is in the forecast, there’s no perfect answer, says Nielsen.“Try to identify the lesser of the two evils,” says Nielsen. “Nothing they do is going to be the perfect thing.”Instead, Nielsen urges farmers to select the choice that will give them the least amount of risk.IllinoisNafziger says he’s noticed most farmers are ahead of the average planting date in Illinois, but the recent cool temperatures have caused people to pause. Without any signs it’s going to stop raining or start pouring excessively, he doesn’t believe there’s a reason for concern.“To be 95% finished with corn by the end of May is pretty good,” Nafziger adds. “If we keep getting dry weather to allow us to finish planting, and then get our soybean crop done, we’ll be off to the races.”The week of 80° temperatures in Illinois led to excellent corn emergence, says Nafziger. However recent cool temperatures have led to slow emergence of soybeans, and slower corn development.“Soybeans have been a little slow with rain and cool weather,” says Mowers. “We have probably 25% of our soybeans emerged. Corn stands are better than the soybeans, mainly because of the cool conditions.”While the corn looks slightly yellow, once it warms up, Mowers expect the root development to take off and be able to access the nitrogen.IowaVariable weather and spotty rains in Iowa have led to potential areas of replant, says Bryan Arndorfer, CCA and owner of Precision Management Service in Bancroft, Iowa. But overall, the crop emergence looks as good as it ever has.“For the most part, everything got planted really timely,” says Arndorfer. “Emergence is probably as good as it’s ever been. We just need some heat.”The cool temperatures he’s referencing are starting to affect the development of the soybeans – with 90% of soybeans planted and 40% emerged. “In our area we lucked out when we were supposed to get a frost and we missed it,” says Arndorfer. “That would’ve been detrimental for a lot of soybeans.”

 

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