Market News & Headlines >> Brock Consultant Katie Hancock's Blog: Planting Plods Along Here

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Insights from Brock Associates Consultant Katie Hancock

WASDE shows planting progress for corn and soybeans ahead of normal. Corn is 14% ahead of schedule and soybeans 7% (as of May 8). My personal opinion is not as optimistic as these numbers in terms of crop quality. We received 3 inches of rain in Western Kentucky this week and did not need it. Soybeans that were planted will struggle, and many will need replanting. 

The corn crop looks fine. I say “fine” because it’s not bad, but tough to say it’s great this early in the game. Stand counts are sufficient due to dry weather at planting. The recent rain will be tough on poorly drained fields, but most will be okay because it was planted a month ago. I have noticed neighboring fields planted in corn that are rarely planted this early, much less in corn. Planting on beds has become more popular here, which helps drainage and yield potential.  

I have heard farmers in areas further to the south had less corn planted than planned due to rain. That conforms to Brock Associates’ planted acre estimates, which project less corn and more beans than what USDA reported in its March 1 planting intentions report. 

There’s more corn in my area, not only due to the dry weather last month, but also due to fewer wheat acres. The wheat does not need these heavy rains, but it looks like a decent quality crop so far. Rust was reported in this area, but we have not found it in our fields. Overall, the wheat crop quality should be fine depending on the rain we have up to harvest in early June. 

I don’t have cotton, but this weather is not friendly to the cotton either. It was planted in this area about the time rain and cool weather began. It’s likely many of those acres will swap to beans.  

The weather outlook for the U.S. remains far from ideal for the next 10 days. Wet weather is expected to give way briefly in many parts of the Midwest for the next couple days, however much of the Corn Belt will see rain again by Friday into Saturday, limiting any chance for fieldwork to resume. 

The eastern Corn Belt will remain mostly chilly into next week, and rains are expected. There is the potential for frosts and freezes late this week through early next week in the northern Corn Belt, although permanent damage is not expected.  

There may be delays and damage throughout the next week, but I’m still optimistic about this year’s crop. Farmers are quick to fix issues this time of the year, but soybean planting is the current concern. It’s a hardy plant that handles wet weather better than corn and wheat, but we could use dry weather to get it off to a decent start.