Market News & Headlines >> Corn Planting a Bit Behind, Conditions Improving

Monday’s USDA crop update showed U.S. corn planting progress at 9% as of April 19, toward the low end of trade expectations and four points below the five-year average, but forecasts for improving conditions have limited market concerns.

World Weather Inc. sees good planting progress being made across much of the Corn Belt over the next two weeks, with exceptions from Kentucky into central/southern Indiana and central/southern Ohio.

Conditions are set to continue drying out across most of the Corn Belt through at least Monday. Meanwhile, the National Weather Service 6- to 10-day outlook calls for below-normal rainfall across most of the Corn Belt April 27-May 1. Cool conditions will limit drying, though, with temperatures expected to stay below normal in most Corn Belt locations over the next  week to 10 days.

This year’s planting pace was ahead of last year’s when only 6% of the crop had been planted by April 19. Good progress was made in dry areas of the Corn Belt last week with Illinois reaching 15% planted, up from zero a week earlier and just 4% in 2014, although still behind the five-year average of 21%.

Iowa producers had planted 7% of their crop by Sunday, on par with the average and up from just 2% a year earlier. Minnesota producers had already planted 12% of their crop compared with zero last year and the average pace of 6%.

Planting delays are most serious in the states of Tennessee, Kentucky, Missouri and Indiana. Only 6% of Tennessee’s corn acreage had been planted, versus a five-year average of 43%, with only 2% of the Kentucky crop in the ground versus an average pace of 29%. Missouri was 8% planted versus the average of 30%, with Indiana just 1% planted against an average pace of 13%.