In the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Crop Progress report released May 13, the USDA stated that the U.S. corn planting was 30 percent complete. That is far behind the 66 percent five-year average.
Our operation would speak volumes to being behind this year, as for the first time since I can remember we haven’t even been able to start planting and it’s near the middle of May. Flooding has devastated much of the area in which we live. Unfortunately, if the weather man is right, which he usually is when it is working against us, we can expect more rain this week and into next in Eastern Iowa. Once we can get started, farmers in the area will have to run 24 hours a day to make up for lost time.
It’s not impossible to catch up, but if this was a football game we would be down by 14 at halftime.
As of May 12, Iowa growers had 48 percent of the state’s corn crop planted versus a 76 percent five-year average. Iowa has 13 percent of its soybean crop in the ground, that’s 18 percent behind the five-year average.
While I am only personally dealing with issues in Iowa, USDA numbers indicate my home state isn’t the only one experiencing trouble getting into the fields.
Friends in Northern Illinois recently sent me images of their entire cornfield under water. The state is dramatically behind what the state's producers would call normal, as they only had 11 percent of their corn seeded, behind an 82 percent five-year average. The states bean planting is behind 31 percent.
A friend from college that helps farm her family’s operation in Illinois expressed her concern for lower yields due to later planting. She also explained that she feels like she’s in a no-win situation as its getting late to plant corn and bean prices aren’t high enough to be an appealing alternative.
USDA numbers indicate Indiana only has 6 percent of their corn crop planted, that is 51 percent behind the average. Beans are no better for the state as they only have a whopping 2 percent planted, the average at this time in 26 percent.
Michigan, Minnesota, and Missouri all show less than favorable numbers too. Southern states Texas, North Carolina and Tennessee are not too far off from their average when analyzing their corn and bean numbers.
Farming has never been easy, but it seems Mother Nature has sure been haunting much of the U.S. lately. You throw the market prices in the mix and a farmer might be starting to wonder how to keep going.