With continued rain on top of already saturated fields, it was difficult for Iowa farmers to make much planting progress this past week. Only an additional 3% of the corn crop and 4% of the soybeans were planted. As of June 2, the weekly government survey shows 88% of the state's 2013 corn acreage has been planted, and 44% of the soybeans are in the ground. That compares to a 5-year average of 99% for corn and 91% for soybeans on the same date.
With late planting this year, it probably means farmers will see lower than expected yields and higher corn prices. Consumers will see meat prices remain strong, and ethanol production may show little change for the year ahead. But even with the late start for the 2013 crop, there's still a decent chance Iowa and the nation could end up with greater corn and soybean production than last year, when severe drought cut yields considerably.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey notes that many farmers didn't have all their 2013 corn planted yet, even as the May 31 deadline for crop insurance passed. Now these farmers have to decide whether to plant late and take a reduced crop insurance payment, or switch the field to soybeans. The deadline for full insurance coverage on soybeans is June 15 in Iowa. Another alternative is to take the "prevented planting" option on crop insurance and plant nothing.
Late crop planting threatens yields, could mean higher prices for 2013 marketing year
The planting delay creates increased uncertainty for yield forecasting. "The good news is we were worried about drought six or eight weeks ago, but with all the rain we've had since then the soil moisture has been replenished and to a large extent the drought is over," notes Northey. "The bad news is the growing season is continuing as extremely cool. Here we are in early June and we have a crop that was planted late and is lagging behind in growing degree days."~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
More than half, 56% according to the weekly USDA survey, of Iowa's corn acreage this year was planted after May 15, the deadline Iowa State University agronomists set for attaining ideal crop yield potential. The wet conditions meant that 2 million acres of Iowa's projected 14 million acres of corn weren't planted as June approached. That is equal to the entire corn production of Texas or North Dakota, notes Northey.
Late planting this spring means Iowa corn and soybean crops will be more susceptible to the possibility of an early frost this fall
Corn and soybeans in 2013 could still recover and produce big crops if the warmth and rain come at the right time. Dave Miller, Iowa Farm Bureau economist, now predicts U.S. farmers will probably not plant 6 to 7 million of the 97 million corn acres USDA had earlier forecast for the nation this year. Thus, the odds of attaining a 14.3 billion bushel U.S. corn crop have been washed away. That 14.3 billion was the crop size USDA had been earlier forecasting this year.
Miller is now looking for a U.S. corn crop in the 12.7 billion bushel range, with prices in the $5.50 to $6 per bushel area as an average for the 2013 crop. Before planting was delayed, there were predictions by a number of analysts of $4 per bushel corn, prompting expectations of expanded livestock feeding and a possible rise in ethanol production. Corn stocks will likely build this year but supplies are still tight since they were reduced so low by last year's drought. Late planting in 2013 raises the risk of possible problems at pollination time and means the crop faces potential risk of frost hitting before the grain is fully mature in the fall.
Wet field conditions further delayed crop planting across Iowa last week
The report summary follows here:
CROP REPORT: Wet conditions further delayed crop planting across Iowa during the week ending June 2, 2013, according to the weekly survey by USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. The survey was compiled on June 2 and the results released June 3. "Rain events throughout the past week kept most fields too wet for machinery to enter," says Greg Thessen, director of the USDA/NASS office in Des Moines. "Runoff caused soil erosion, especially in recently tilled fields. Standing water in some fields may damage crops."
Statewide there was an average of 0.6 days suitable for fieldwork during the week. East Central Iowa was the only area of the state with a full day suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture levels statewide rated zero percent very short, zero percent short, 43% adequate and 57% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 1% very short, 4% short, 57% adequate and 38% surplus.
In Iowa, 73% of the corn crop has emerged, well behind normal of 91% for June 1
With the rain, farmers were only able to plant an additional 3% of the corn crop during the week ending June 2. Corn planting now stands at 88% complete, behind the 5-year average of 99%. In Iowa, 73% of the corn crop has emerged, well behind last year's 98% and the normal 91% for June 1. The first corn condition rating of the year was issued in the June 1 weekly crop report. It showed the crop at 3% very poor, 8% poor, 32% fair, 48% good and 9% excellent.
Looking at soybeans, 44% of the soybean crop was in the ground as of June 2, trailing last year's 99% and the 5-year average of 91%. Soybean emergence was 23% complete; the lowest emergence at this time of the year since 1996. The oat crop was 99% emerged on June 2, and the oat crop's condition rated 1% very poor, 4% poor, 30% fair, 55% good and 10% excellent. The first cutting of alfalfa hay was 3% complete as of June 1, 2013, far behind last year's 86%, and the lowest since 1996.~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~
Pasture and range conditions continued to improve, and rated 1% very poor, 7% poor, 29% fair, 42% good and 21% excellent.
IOWA PRELIMINARY WEATHER SUMMARY—for the week ending June 2, 2013.
By Harry Hillaker, State Climatologist, Iowa Department of Agriculture & Land Stewardship
It was another very wet week across Iowa. Heavy rain fell over much of the state from Sunday (May 26) into Monday (May 27) morning with daily totals near seven inches reported from Cherokee County. Rain was again widespread Monday night with thunderstorms mostly over southeast Iowa Tuesday night into Wednesday morning. Rain fell over most of the state again on Thursday but was under an inch in most areas. On Friday rain fell mostly over the northeast and southeast corners of Iowa while Saturday saw brief showers over much of the state.
Rain totals varied from 1.23 inches at Maquoketa to 8.42 inches at Zearing (Story County). The statewide average precipitation was 3.21 inches or about triple the weekly normal of 1.08 inches. This was the wettest reporting week since July 2010. The rain pushed the statewide average precipitation totals to record highs for May, the spring season and the year-to-date.
This was wettest crop reporting week since July 2010, with frequent rainstorms
Meanwhile temperatures for the week as a whole averaged near normal with relatively warm weather from Tuesday through Friday and cooler weather on Monday and over the weekend. Overall temperatures averaged 0.3 degrees above normal with extremes ranging from Wednesday afternoon highs of 85 degrees at Clinton and Keokuk to Sunday (June 2) morning lows of 45 degrees at Cresco, Elkader and New Hampton. The frequent rain and thunderstorms were accompanied by occasional high winds and hail with a few severe storms over far southern Iowa on Tuesday, central and northeastern areas of Iowa on Wednesday and over much of far eastern Iowa on Thursday. There were a few large hail reports in north central Iowa on Friday.