Precipitation has been a nuisance for farmers planting soybeans in the north and those harvesting wheat in the south. Minnesota, North and South Dakota and Western Wisconsin received anywhere from one to two inches with Kansas and Northern Oklahoma seeing similar rainfall. Wheat prices began to rebound slightly today, as the wet weather in the grain belt is slowing the harvest. Rain at harvest time can spell trouble for wheat as water can swell the kernels which yield less flour.
The USDA estimated corn emergence at 97%, a 5% increase from last week and 1% ahead of the five-year average. Farmers are sounding very confident about the corn crop thus far. Corn conditions remain extremely positive with 76% of the crop rated "Good" or "Excellent," a 1% increase from the previous week and a 12% increase from last year. 20% was considered "Fair" while only 4% was considered "Poor" or "Very Poor." Despite the delay in planting, a good combination of rain and sunshine has the USDA expecting a record crop this year for both total yield and bushels per acre.
Soybean planting was slowed by rains over the past week. 92% of acres were estimated planted, a 5% increase from last week and 2% ahead of the five-year average. Farmers in the Dakotas are struggling to replant soybeans in troubled areas. Many beans that were planted early did not emerge because of the cold and heavy rainfall they received. Those farmers who waited are also struggling to get fields planted because of continued rain in the region. Soybean emergence was reported at 83%, a 12% increase from last week and 6% ahead of the five-year average. Soybean conditions are well above last year's estimates; 73% of the crop is considered to be in "Good" or "Excellent" condition opposed to 64% last year. 23% was considered in "Fair" condition, while only 4% was reported as "Poor" or "Very Poor."
The winter wheat crop was reported at 92% headed, a 6% increase from last week and 2% ahead of the five-year average. Rain throughout much of the wheat belt has slowed the harvest, and left farmers wondering where the rain was six weeks ago. The USDA estimated 16% of the winter wheat crop has been harvested, up 7% from last week, but 3% behind the five-year average. There were no changes in the conditions report for wheat.
July futures for corn closed the week at $4.41 per bushel, a 2.2% decrease from last week. July soybeans ended the week at $14.22, a 2.4% decrease from last week, and July wheat ended the week at $5.80, a 1.0% decrease from last week. Year-to-year corn prices are down 34.0%, soybeans are down 6.0%, and wheat is down 14.7%.
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