USDA: Feed crop planting, emergence pace increases but condition lags

By Aerin Einstein-Curtis

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Crop, Wheat

© iStock/stgutiez
© iStock/stgutiez
Feed crop condition may be dropping, even as crop planting nears completion and emergence continues, says the USDA.

Details of feed crop planting, sprouting and condition were included in Monday’s Crop Progress report​ from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Overall, several feed crops, including corn, are starting to match or meet the planting pace set in previous years as work comes close to finishing, the department said. However, emergence for some continues to lag a little further behind.

Additionally, crop condition is behind the results set at this point in time last year for some feed grains, the department said.

“The market’s closely watching planting progress right now,”​ said Scott Stiles, extension economist for the University of Arkansas, division of agriculture, in an earlier interview​. One question is if corn acres will change to become acres planted in soybeans because of planting delays or the need to replant fields.

However, it is a complicated question to answer, he said. Producers have to weigh the potential for yield drag from a crop planted later to the knowledge that soybeans have dropped below $10 a bushel.

One of the next reports to watch for will be the acreage and grain stocks report released at the end of June, he said.

“We’ll be smarter by August,”​ he said. “We’ll know a lot more about price direction by then.”

Corn and soy details

Corn planting has almost reached the pace set last year, and the established multi-year average for the 18 states responsible for the majority of the corn crop, said the USDA. For the week ending June 4, the states had completed about 96% of the corn planting, compared to the 97% finished by this point last year and on average.

However, unlike last year, no states have completed their planting progress, the department said. Last year by this point, four states – Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin – were done.

About 86% of the planted crop has sprouted at this point, the department said. The growth rate continues to trail both the average rate of emergence and where the crop was at this point last year.

Crop condition has improved from last week, with about 68% of the crop earning a good or excellent grade, said the USDA. However, the score does not meet the total earned by last year’s crop at this point in the season.

Soybean planting has outpaced the rate set last year and in the multi-year average, despite the increase in expected acres, the department said. So far this year about 83% of the crop has been planted, up from 82% last year and an average of 79%.

But, only about 58% of the crop has emerged, which puts it behind last year and the average, the department added.

Wheat specifics

The winter wheat crop is heading more quickly than it has done in previous years, though with 87% completed, it lags behind the pace set last year, the USDA said. However, this year’s harvest is proceeding more quickly than it did last year or on average.

The condition of the crop however has dropped slightly from results reported last week said the department. The amount of the crop earning a good or excellent rating has dropped about 13 points from the score it earned at this point last year.

Spring wheat is emerging more quickly than it has done for the past several years, but has yet to match the tempo set last year, the department said. About 55% of the crop has been graded good or excellent, a drop from the 62% that earned that score last week and the 79% that it rated at this point last year.  

Sorghum, oats and barley

Sorghum planting remains close to the pace set last year in the 11 states responsible for the majority of the crop, said the USDA. But, with 55% of the crop planted, it continues to lag behind the average of 60% traditionally in the ground by this point in the year.

Additionally, although Arkansas and Louisiana are close, no states have completed their planting, unlike this time last year, the department said.

However, oat planting is proceeding more quickly than it has on average, even if it remains behind the pace set last year, said the department. But, only about 35% of the crop has headed, behind the 37% seen by this point last year, and the 38% seen on average.

Similar to the corn crop, the condition of the planted oat crop has improved from last week, with about 62% being rated as good or excellent, said the department. However, the amount lags behind the 71% that earned that rating at this point last year, and slightly more of the crop has earned a very poor rating than it did last year.

Barley planting is almost complete in the five states responsible for the majority of the crop, said the USDA. Last year planting had finished by this point.

Emergence has dropped behind both the previous year and the average pace set, the department said. Unlike last year at this point, no states have finished emergence.

Condition of this year’s crop dropped slightly from results last week, and is down nine points from last year’s score, the department said.

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