Planting's almost in the bag -- USDA

Planting's almost in the bag -- USDA

By: Jeff Caldwell 06/13/2011 @ 4:17pm

Finally, after one of the most tumultuous planting seasons in the last few decades, it looks like there are just a handful of corn acres left to plant this spring, and soybeans aren't far behind.

Monday's USDA-NASS Crop Progress report shows 99% of the corn crop is in the ground, while 87% of the nation's soybeans are planted. The corn figure is right on schedule, while the soybean progress is just 2% behind the normal pace. Also slightly behind normal is corn and bean emergence, 5% and 8% behind, respectively. Nationwide, 69% of the country's corn and 67% of its soybeans are in good-to-excellent condition.

Though the crops aren't completely in the ground yet, the last couple weeks' progress have some thanking Mother Nature for a break. Marketing Talk member nwobcw says, with 100 acres left to plant, he was glad when rains reappeared on his farm late last week, letting him slow down shortly before he gets the rest of his soybeans in the ground.

"With less than 100 acres to go, I'm glad for a day off and happy to see some rain. Tuesday and Wednesday, high winds and 100-degree temps sucked every bit of moisture out of everything," he says. "The beans I planted last Friday are up an inch tall. There's not a whole lot left to plant around here. We are running slightly ahead of last year right now, which was also a late planting season, but turned out to be my best year ever."

But, the rain's welcome hasn't been as warm in other areas. Some farmers in central Iowa woke up last Friday to rainfall amounts the previous day alone up to 9 inches. "Thursday evening, one of my farms received 3.6 inches of rain," writes Successful Farming magazine Crops & Soils Editor Rich Fee. "That’s too much, but manageable. Then Wednesday night it received another five inches bringing the total to 8.6 inches in 36 hours."

Looking ahead through the end of the month, though good for the acres already planted, conditions may keep planting windows narrow, according to Monday's report from Freese-Notis Weather, Inc., in Des Moines, Iowa.

"Overall it looks like a moderate temp pattern and fairly regular rainfall in the Midwest into late June," according to Freese-Notis. "Areas were summer row crops will feel weather related stress in the near term will continue to be the Southern Plains and parts of the Delta and southern parts of the Southeast, with frequent highs in the 90s/low 100s."