Farmers have done their best since April to get the 2019 corn crop in the ground. Unfortunately, Mother Nature continues to best them. This week in their weekly Crop Progress report, USDA reported just 49% of the corn crop has been planted.
Massive delays in most of the corn belt have pushed progress 31-percentage-points behind the five-year average of 80% planted for the week of May 19. While farmers and traders alike knew progress had been made last week with several days of cooperative weather in many states, they overestimated the progress. The average trade guess in a Reuters survey was 50% planted. The estimates ranged from 42%-61%.
This is the slowest corn planting in recorded history, besting the 1995 record of 50% planted for this week.
“Today’s data indicates that 47.3 million acres of corn remained unplanted at the end of the day on May 19. Never before,” Tweeted Arlan Suderman of INTL FCStone.
Illinois is one of the states the furthest behind.
“The #2 state at 24% vs 89% normally is a BIG deal for the future of this crop,” Suderman tweeted.
Similarly, Indiana is 59 points behind their five-year average pace, Ohio is 53 points behind and South Dakota is 57 points behind.
While time is running thin and the weather forecast doesn’t look promising, it’s not time to panic yet. A recent Farm journal Pulse poll shows given good conditions, 42% of farmers can plant their entire crops in under 10 days.
Still the forecast calls for rain, rain, and more rain.
According to BAMWX meteorologists, farmers in the central U.S. will likely see 2” or more rainfall in the next 10 days.
“And I think, on a scale of one to 10, the probability of it [this forecast] being wrong is probably just a two or three,” said Michael Clark, BAMWX meteorologist to AgriTalk Host Chip Flory Thursday. “There’s so much support amongst all the ensemble members and in all the operational runs and the only thing they’ve done in the last two days is trended wetter.”
Their research shows this is the wettest period since 1893. It’s not too soon to start putting a pencil to prevent plant. Figure out if switching to soybeans would be more profitable given the opportunity. And contact your insurance agent to verify documentation that would be necessary to file a claim.