Dry weather lets Minnesota farmers catch up on planting

Gil Gullickson

Gil Gullickson

"We haven't moved a piece of equipment yet, it's too wet", said Hasselstrom. The view is still record bearish for the time of year but it has now caught up with 2015. Monday through Wednesday last week we kind of got along planting. The new stance is the most bullish for the date since 2014.

Corn futures essentially treaded water with both corn planting progress and the May 2017 WASDE report offering few if any meaningful surprises. The National Weather Service reported heavy snow and freezing last week in the nation's bread basket, the part of Colorado, the western part of Kansas and parts of Nebraska. There were 1.9 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending May 14. Crop tours earlier this week predict lower wheat yields. The net result was 2017/18 US corn ending stocks of 2,110 million bushels, which was essentially equal to the average trade guess of 2,122 million bushels and 185 million bushels below 2016/17. If realized this would represent a 12.8% reduction in stocks in just one crop year. Oat condition is rated 79% good to excellent. Crop conditions are even much worse in portions of the U.S that were flattened by the winter storm.

It rained last week, but we only had about a third of an inch at our farm. "It was 76-degrees yesterday, but the temperatures are supposed to drop again". Emerged was 4 percent, near 3 a year ago and 7 average. That percentage could get better with sunshine and warming temperatures.

Nationally, winter wheat condition slipped two points to 51% good/excellent, with IL wheat posting another big drop, while the storm-hit Kansas crop improved a little. The areas hit hardest by the midwest blizzard had substantial acres of wheat acreage in poor or very poor conditions already. So far this year about 32% of the crop has been planted. Revenue policies indemnify a grower when the actual revenue falls below the policy guarantee.

However, emergence of the corn crop continues to lag in the 18 states responsible for the majority of the U.S. corn production, said the USDA. Overall, given the extended forecast for the Midwest, I now see little reason from purely a "pace of planting" perspective to assume the US can't achieve a trend-line or slightly above trend-line national corn yield in 2017.

The weekly report is also available on the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship's website at www.IowaAgriculture.gov or on USDA's site at www.nass.usda.gov/ia.

Soybeans planted was at 23%.

The value of the dollar has been on a tear to the downside lately, dropping to the lowest level in six months.

More than 80% of the state has adequate soil moisture, and 82% of pastures and rangelands are in good to excellent condition. And 81 percent of the oats are now in the ground, with emergence around 42 percent. In corn, the USDA forecasted the 2017/18 US corn yield at 170.7 bpa and harvested acreage at 82.4 million acres for total production of 14,065 million bushels. And, the amount that has emerged also is behind past years' production. Emerged was 1 percent. "Through it all, I'm optimistic that our wheat will be worth something in the fall", said Hasselstrom.

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