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Full Speed Ahead?

Corn planting has progressed to 62 percent in the 18 reported states, just one point behind average. Most of the states in our service have nearly caught up – or even surpassed – average planting progress, with Iowa at 65 percent, five points behind average; Kansas at 68 percent, five points ahead of average; and Nebraska at 72 percent, two points ahead of average. South Dakota, however, still lags at only 12 percent complete -- or 40 points behind average.

Soybeans are nine points ahead of average for the 18 states, at 35 percent complete. Iowa, at 33 percent, is five points ahead; Kansas, at 31 percent is 18 points ahead; Nebraska stands at 41 percent complete, 12 points ahead. Again, South Dakota is well behind its normal pace of 22 percent, with only 4 percent complete.

Emergence for both corn and soybeans follows much the same pattern. Grain sorghum in Kansas is right on average, at 3 percent, while Nebraska farmers have seeded 17 percent against a 14 percent average. 

Kansas has continued to miss rain events, the result of which is winter wheat rated at 51 percent poor/very poor and just 15 percent good/excellent. Forty-two percent has emerged compared with 62 percent on average. In Nebraska, by comparison, winter wheat is 64 percent good/very good and 7 percent poor/very poor. Only 1 percent has emerged, compared with a 15 percent average.

Neutral weather?

The Crop Moisture Index from the U.S. Drought Portal (map) indicates much of the Ohio Valley has excess moisture at this time, and forecasts suggest more will fall during the next week.

crop moisture index

Longer term, the La Nina that fostered the drought in the Southwest has faded and neutral sea-surface temperatures are expected to last through the summer, according to the Climate Prediction Center (CPC). As a result, seasonal forecasts from the CPC point to equal chances of above or below normal temperatures and rainfall in most of the Corn Belt during the growing season.

temperature May-Oct 2018 precipitation May-October 2018
It is early in the season, but at this point, based on the current conditions and long-range outlooks, the 174-bu. corn yield and 48.5-bu. soybean yield USDA used in its May 10 world supply and demand estimates certainly appear possible. 


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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.