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Progress Slows; Cold Weather Worries Northern Growers

Corn planting now is 85% complete in the 18 leading states, with just 10 percentage points added between May 10 and 17 as weather slowed progress, as expected. However, that’s still 10 points ahead of the prior-five-year average.  Iowa farmers have 92% of their planned acres in the ground, compared with 84% on average. At 85%, Nebraskans have fallen two points behind their average, while South Dakotans are far ahead of their 66% average at 83% complete.

Fifty-six percent of corn has emerged in the 18 states, compared with an average of 40%. In Iowa, 63% is up versus an average of 44%; Nebraska, 54% versus 40% and South Dakota, 46%, more than double the average 21%. In general, that means earlier pollination, reducing the risk of hot, dry weather at that critical time period and favoring better yields. 

Sprouting Corn

However, cool, wet weather the past 10 days, including snow on May 9-10, and this week’s cold snap have some producers in the northern portion of South Dakota concerned, according to our crop insurance specialists there. Some corn was planted three weeks ago and still has not broken ground. A growing point below surface is safer from freeze damage, but not a good harbinger if the seed isn’t viable. Almost no field work has been done the past 10 days and while South Dakotans have planted 46% of planned soybean acres against an average 21%, little planting is complete in the northernmost reaches of Farm Credit Services of America’s territory. Iowa has 51% planted against a 45% average, but Nebraska, which also has been wet, is at 41%, 10 points behind average. In the 18 leading states, 45% of beans have been planted; the average is 36%.

South Dakota growers have seeded most of their spring wheat. It is 97% planted, while the average is 89%. In the six leading states, 94% is in, almost 30 points ahead of the 65% average. Emergence also is ahead of normal, at 77% in South Dakota and 67% in the six states, where the five-year average is only 38%.

Prior to the final planting date (see “Corn Planting Well Along as Final Planting Dates Approach,” posted May 12), producers who believe they need to replant due to non-emergence or who see damage from the recent cold weather should contact their insurance agent immediately, advises Doug Burns, FCSAmerica vice president of insurance. “If replanting occurs without prior release from the insurance company, any potential indemnity payment is jeopardized,” Burns said.

As mentioned in the May 12 article, a few of the basic rules regarding replanting include:

  • The crop must be appraised and released by the insurance company before replanting.
  • The appraised crop potential must be less than 90% of the guarantee.
  • Damage must have been due to an insurable cause of loss.
  • To receive a replant payment, the first planting must have been after the initial crop insurance planting date.
  • Replanting must be the same crop in the same physical location.
  • Acreage replanted must be at least the lesser of 20 acres or 20% of the unit.
  • The coverage cannot be Catastrophic Loss Coverage (CAT).


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FCSAmerica serves farmers, ranchers, agribusinesses and rural residents in Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota and Wyoming. For inquiries outside this geography, use the Farm Credit Association Locator  to contact your local office.