May 22, 2018

2018 U.S. Planting Pace - Corn now Average, Soybeans Advanced

Author: Michael Cordonnier/Soybean & Corn Advisor, Inc.

Relatively good weather last week allowed for rapid advance in the corn and especially the soybean planting.

Corn - As of Sunday, the 2018 U.S. corn crop was 81% planted compared to 82% last year and 81% for the 5-year average. Corn emergence was 50% compared to 51% last year and 47% for the 5-year average. With the exception of areas in the northwestern Corn Belt, corn planting has caught up to or even surpassed the average planting pace.

Recent warm temperatures especially in the more southern areas, have encouraged a rapid emergence of the corn. As a result, the corn emergence is actually ahead of average which is good because the growing season starts when the corn emerges and not when it is planted.

The area of concern continues to be the northwestern Corn Belt where corn planting continues to be slowed by wet weather. Farmers in Wisconsin have planted 56% of their corn (average is 66%), North Dakota has planted 62% (average is 67%), South Dakota has planted 66% (average is 81%), and Minnesota has planted 77% (average is 84%) Iowa is only two points behind average at 86% planted.

Final Corn Planting Dates - As far as crop insurance is concerned, the final corn planting dates for states in the Midwest are as follows: most of North Dakota is May 25, southeastern North Dakota is May 31, most of South Dakota is May 25, southeastern South Dakota is May 31, Nebraska is May 25, southern Minnesota is May 31, Iowa is May 31, southern Wisconsin is May 31, most of Illinois is June 5, Indiana is June 5, and Ohio is June 5.

A lot of farmers are commenting on how well the ground worked up this spring. A good seed bed is critical for good germination, rapid emergence, and good plant stands. Therefore, there should be good plant populations this year in most of the Corn Belt.

Soybeans - As of Sunday, the 2018 U.S. soybean crop was 56% planted compared to 50% last year and 44% for the 5-year average. Soybean emergence was 26% compared to 17% last year and 15% for the 5-year average.

The soybeans are being planted ahead of the average planting pace which is almost always a positive development. But, just because the soybeans are planted early, it does not necessarily mean that the soybeans will have above trend line yields. As we all know from past experience, the soybean yields will be determined by the weather during July and August and not by the weather during May and June.

The slowest soybean planting is also in the northwestern Corn Belt where South Dakota farmers have planted 24% of their soybeans (average is 44%), North Dakota has planted 33% (average is 40%), Wisconsin has planted 33% (average is 35%) and Minnesota has planted 48% (average is 56%). Farmers in Iowa are actually ahead of the average pace at 58% planted (average is 51%).

Final Soybean Planting Dates - As far as crop insurance is concerned. the final soybean planting dates for states in the Midwest are as follows: North Dakota is June 10, South Dakota is June 10, Nebraska is June 10, Minnesota is June 10, southern Wisconsin is June 15, Iowa is June 15, northern Illinois is June 15, central and southern Illinois is June 20, Indiana is June 20, and Ohio is June 20.