Farmers across the country have battled Mother Nature for months, fighting to get corn and soybean crops planted. In this week’s USDA Crop Progress report, the agency noted that 96% of the nation’s corn and 85% of the nation’s soybeans are planted. But as emergence numbers and conditions rating imply, getting the crop planted is just the start of the battle.
As of June 23, just 89% of the corn and 71% of the country’s soybeans were emerged. While those numbers are up from 79% and 55% last week, they are vastly behind their historical averages of 99% and 91% respectively. Several states are showing critically slow emergence, including Ohio and Michigan. Typically at this time 99% of Ohio’s corn has emerged. According to USDA just 66% of the state’s corn is out of the ground.
The situation is similar for soybeans, which are just 45% emerged compared to their historical average of 92%. In Michigan the situation is much the same. Corn there should be 98% emerged and it’s 62% emerged. Soybeans should be 93% emerged, but only sit at 48% emerged.
For the crops that have emerged, weather continues to be a challenge. USDA Monday reported corn conditions are 59% good-to-excellent, consistent with the average trade guess, according to Reuters. However, soybeans are just 54% good-to-excellent, falling 5 percentage points behind the average trade guess for this week. According to Karen Braun of Reuters, this is lowest initial rating for soybeans since 1992, when it was 51% good-to-excellent.
Mother Nature is challenging wheat farmers too. According to the report, harvest crews did make some progress on winter wheat last week, moving the needle from 8% harvest to 15%. However, this is well behind the five-year-average of 34% harvested.