USDA’s weekly Crop Progress report, the sixth of this year, on Monday showed that prolonged cold, wet weather in key farming states has significantly delayed planting of key corn and soybean crops across most of the country.
Across the 18 states that represented 92% of the corn acreage in 2021, only 22% of the acreage had been planted as of Sunday, May 8, compared with 64% by this time last year. The five-year moving average is 50% of the acreage planted.
Soybeans are similarly behind, with 12% of the planned acres planted as of Sunday, across 18 states representing 96% of 2021’s total soybean acreage. Last year by this time, 39% of the soybean crop had been planted. The five-year moving average is 24% by this time in the season.
It is another source of concern for livestock producers and processors, on top of supply chain disruptions and war in Europe that have sent grain prices soaring, contributing to high food inflation in the U.S. and globally.
The crop ship could right itself, if the weather cooperates. This week in the Midwest is expected to bring warm — event hot — conditions in key states, including Illinois, Kansas and Indiana, drying out the fields and allowing farmers to get more planting in. On the other hand, in states such as Texas and Louisiana, where planting so far has been ahead of the average rate, there are concerns that hot, dry weather could exacerbate drought conditions that have plagued the Southwest region for years.
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