May 23rd Planted Progress Report

Planters have been running all out over the last few weeks as the envelope to get spring planted before summer heat and drought sets in even further. We will start with what the market was expecting yesterday and the results of the USDA Planted Progress Report as of yesterday.

Discussed at length on yesterday’s Go Farm Yourself spaces meeting via Ag Twitter, the hosts, commodity traders, and the listeners, mostly agriculture producers, farmers, yours truly, and folks in the ag retail space, grain elevators, truckers, custom work contractors, spoke commodities and general ag goings on this week. The market was expecting planted soy to be at 48-50% planted and corn to come in around 68-70%. Wheat for the winter crop for good and excellent condition around 28% of total crop. Sugar beets or cotton were not discussed on that call, but the weather and drought have been battering both of those crops as the rains up north and severe drought continue, but hopefully with some relief on the way this week.

The survey reports were on par with expections, more or less. Per the USDA:

  • Corn – 72% planted, up from 49%
  • Soy – 50% planted, up from 30%
  • Wheat (winter) headed 63% at a 28% good or excellent condition
  • Spring wheat – 49% planted, up from 39%
  • Sugar beets – 50% planted, up from 37%

The survey data shows, it has been a very busy week, but we are still below averages, seemingly everywhere. Surprisingly, the commodities markets are somewhat tame, given that the envelope to plant and have a successful crop harvest prior to the first freeze is coming to a close shortly.

This was a big week, and in the next few weeks leading up to Juneteenth holiday will be even more instrumental in forecasting grain futures through September. The current expectation is higher, but steady. We’ve got good emergence happening and in the south we are preparing to start harvest. Some have already begun hay and some grain harvest in Texas. The next three weeks should present relatively close to 2021 experience as far as total planted. One thing I will add is that winter wheat down some 20% is going to make bread more expensive this year.

On a side note, one of the topics of conversation that came up during the Twitter spaces meeting was corn you can eat. Most corn grown is silage corn. I wouldn’t eat that. Sweet yellow corn is the variety you buy at the store. It is grown in limited quantities and some farmers like to put in a few rows for personal and community consumption. You might start seeing signs on the highways and byways showing you where to turn off to go harvest from the fields.