US corn crop in good shape despite slow start

31 May 2011 22:15  [Source: ICIS news]

NHOUSTON (ICIS)--The 2011 US corn crop appears to be in generally good condition despite a slow start to the planting season resulting from wet weather, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) said on Tuesday.

US farmers as of 29 May have planted 86% of a projected 92m-acre (37m-ha) corn crop, the USDA said in its weekly Crop Progress report.

Persistent and heavy spring rains in the midwest kept farmers out of the fields in March and April, but once drier conditions prevailed in May, the pace of planting accelerated rapidly.

The USDA indicated that on average over the past five years, 95% of the nation's corn has been planted by 29 May.

Of the corn planted so far, 66% has emerged, with 63% of the emerged corn rated in good or excellent condition, the USDA said.

Millions of corn acres have yet to be planted, however.

In Ohio, for example, 3.3m acres of corn have yet to be planted and could be switched to late-planted soybeans if soils do not dry out soon, a University of Illinois agricultural economist said.

Nationally, USDA reported that 51% of an estimated 76m-acre soybean crop had been planted as of 29 May, compared with a five-year average of 71% on the same date a year ago.

By: Frank Zaworski
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