USDA Monday reported that 97 percent of the corn had been planted, up from 91 percent last week, but well over half of it was rated “good” with about as much in the fair category as was in the excellent category. That lends a question mark to those who are projecting whether demands will be met by the supply produced by the new crop. Overall, the crop improved from the prior week with fewer acres of fair corn and more acres of excellent corn, so the trend is in the direction that is needed.  But what are the prospects for individual states?

In the past week average statewide precipitation was 2.64 inches, over 1.6 inches above the normal amount for this time of year. The average statewide temperature was 70.5 degrees, 2.3 cooler than normal. The average number of days suitable for fieldwork was 3.0, with standing water in fields being a problem for those in low lying areas as well. Topsoil moisture ratings increased to 49 percent adequate, and 47 percent surplus. Corn emerged progressed to 99 percent, still slightly ahead of the five-year average of 98 percent. Soybeans emerged advanced to 91 percent, also ahead of the five-year average of 81 percent.  Corn is 68 percent good to excellent and beans are 63 percent good to excellent. The southern quarter of Illinois reports 20 percent of the beans have yet to emerge, and about that many to be planted yet in some regions. 

There were 4.1 days suitable for field work. 94 percent of the intended corn acreage has emerged compared with 100 percent last year and 97 percent for the 5-year average. Corn condition is rated 55 percent good to excellent compared with 68 percent last year at this time. 90 percent of the intended soybean acreage has been planted compared with 91 percent last year and 92 percent for the 5-year average. By area, 89 percent of the crop has been planted in the north, 92 percent in the central region and 87 percent in the south. 75 percent of the soybean acreage has emerged compared with 84 percent for both last year and the 5-year average. Soybean condition is rated 56 percent good to excellent compared with 67 percent last year at this time. Precipitation in excess of normal ranged from 7 to 16 inches since April 1.

Although many areas of the state received rain again this past week, there are a few areas in need of moisture as rainfall amounts varied widely. Days suitable for field work ranged from 1.1 to 4.5. Topsoil moisture levels were rated 68 percent adequate, and 29 percent surplus. Corn is reported at 85 percent percent good to excellent. Soybean planting is nearly complete, with 95 percent of the state’s soybean crop emerged, slightly ahead of last year’s 94 percent and ahead of the five-year average of 93 percent. Soybean conditions are reported at 82 percent good to excellent.

This was the eighth week out of the past 10 with greater than usual rainfall. There were no areas of widespread heavy rainfall in the Iowa portion of the Missouri River watershed. Nevertheless a gradual increase in flows from areas upstream of Iowa allowed Missouri River levels to continue a slow rise through much of the week. Rainfall varied from seasonal shortages to 11 inches over normal at Indianola since April 1.

Scattered precipitation, though heavy in some isolated areas, was welcomed by Kansas producers as wind and high temperatures have continued to dry out many areas last week, especially the drought impacted counties in the Southwest. Farmers averaged 5.3 days suitable for field work last week, with only the Northwest and Southwest Districts averaging over 6 days. Despite last week’s precipitation, topsoil moisture supplies remained fairly steady and were rated 42 percent short to very short and 55 percent adequate. 2 percent of the corn crop has silked, primarily in the  South Central and Southeast Districts and the crop condition was rated 86 percent fair to good. The soybean crop is 92 percent planted, compared to last year at 87 percent and the 5-year average of 85 percent. 80 percent has emerged, ahead of 2010 at 78 percent and the 5-year average of 76 percent, while the condition was rated 89 percent fair to good. The Kansas winter wheat harvest was slowed by wet weather last week, but producers still managed to cut 16 percent of the State’s crop reaching 27 percent harvested as of Sunday, well ahead of 9 percent last year and the 5-year average of 16 percent.

Six days were suitable for fieldwork during the week ending June 19, with soil moisture reported 14 percent short and 79 percent adequate. 93 percent of corn has emerged, ranging from VE to V6 with 79 percent in fair to good condition. Side-dressing nitrogen and spraying for weeds were main activities. Cutworm problems have been reported. 95 percent of beans have been planted and 76 percent emerged, with those rated 85 percent fair to good. 

Below average temperatures and persistent rainfall continued to delay crop progress behind the 5 year average. As of June 19, corn was 98 percent emerged with an average height of 10 inches, compared to 20 inches last year and 18 inches for the five-year average. Soybeans were 89 percent emerged with an average height of 3 inches compared to 6 inches last year and a 5 inch average. Corn condition was 82 percent fair to good while soybeans were rated 85 percent fair to good. 26 percent of topsoil had surplus moisture. Rainfall totals since April 1 range from 1.4” below average to nearly 7” above average.

There were 4.6 days suitable for fieldwork statewide with the northeast district limited to only 2.1 days suitable. Topsoil moisture is rated 15 percent short, 66 percent adequate, and 16 percent surplus. Much needed precipitation averaged 1.62 inches statewide. Hail and high winds were reported. Back flooding from the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers remained a concern for producers.

At 99 percent, corn emergence was nearly complete, 3 days ahead of last year, and 1 week ahead of the five-year historic average (normal). Corn condition improved from last week to 83% fair to good. However, soybean condition remained very similar to last week with 87 percent fair to good. Soybean planting progressed 11 points from last week to 88 percent, 1 week ahead of last year and normal. Soybean emergence was 76 percent, six days ahead of last year, and five days ahead of normal. 

High winds were prevalent across the state and hail fell in numerous areas of the state damaging crops. Flooding along the Missouri and Platte Rivers continue to generate concern for crops in low lying areas. Soil moisture was 83 percent adequate and 9 percent surplus. Precipitation ranged from 99 percent to 142 percent of normal. Corn condition is rated 84 percent fair to good, near the ratings of this time last year. Soybean conditions are rated 89 percent fair to good, near 2010. Soybeans emerged were 96 percent, ahead of last year’s 92 percent and 94 percent average for the past 5 years.

North Dakota
Producers are attempting to finish planting in many areas, but were once again delayed by excess precipitation and soil moisture. Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 56 percent adequate, and 43 percent surplus. Statewide, on average, there were 3.6 days suitable for fieldwork. 

Corn is reported 81 percent fair to good, and beans are 83 percent fair to good. Corn reached 91 percent emergence, up 17 percent from last week. Soybeans were 95 percent planted and 64 percent emerged, both behind last year and the five-year average. Seasonal precipitation since April 1 ranges from 3-4 inches above normal in the western part of North Dakota to below normal in the eastern part of the state.

Precipitation averaged 0.73 inches, 0.23 inches below normal for the week. There were 107 modified growing degree days, 34 days below normal.  Since April 1, precipitation has ranged from 4.5 to 10 inches above normal amounts. Reporters rated 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the seven-day period ending Friday, June 17, 2011. Topsoil moisture was rated 76 percent adequate, and 11 percent surplus. A break from the rainfall allowed farmers to finish planting corn and soybeans. As of Sunday June 19th, corn was 92 percent emerged. 91 percent of soybeans were planted, 4 percent ahead of last year but 6 percent behind the five-year average. 66 percent of soybeans were emerged, compared to 80 percent last year and 92 percent for the five-year average. Corn is 82 percent fair to good, beans 86 percent fair to good.

South Dakota:
Even though some intermittent rains fell, there were still 4.4 days suitable for fieldwork in the past seven days. Farmers made gains on the acres of soybeans and sunflowers planted. The warmer conditions allowed for substantial growth in all crops. Insect control has become an issue, especially with aphids in winter wheat and grasshoppers in the alfalfa acreage. 
Warmer weather conditions brought great strides in the emergence and development of all crops. Planting of soybeans is slowly coming to an end, now 93 percent planted, just shy of the 5-year average of 96 percent. Corn emergence is at 96 percent complete, slowly catching up to the previous year of 99 percent. Topsoil moisture is 72 percent adequate and 27 percent surplus. Corn is 84 percent fair to good and beans are 85 percent fair to good. 

Many reporters stated we still need more heat units to aid crop growth. This past week weather conditions permitted 4.5 days suitable for fieldwork.  Soil moisture is rated 79 percent adequate and 15 percent surplus. Corn was at 97 percent emerged statewide, with an average height of 12 inches. There was a comment that a lot of yellow corn plants would need some additional nitrogen in order to produce a good crop. Corn is rated 66 percent good, with 16 percent fair and excellent. Soybeans were at 97 percent planted across the state, with 84 percent of the crop emerged. The soybean crop was primarily looking good statewide. Beans are reported 84 percent fair to good. 

The 2011 corn and bean crop is slowly getting planted, with many unplanted acres destined for weed management at this point, rather than crop production.  Many wet spots remain that will reduce the potential for soybean acres. However, crop conditions outside the heart of the Cornbelt are all measured in fair to good condition, instead of good to excellent. USDA says nationally, the crop improved from last week to this week, however, the market will be watching the acreage that is fair versus excellent to discount yields.