07 May 2012 21:54 [Source: ICIS news]
HOUSTON (ICIS)--US farmers maintained their momentum for field work in the past week as crop planting activity stayed well ahead of last year's pace, data released by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) indicated on Monday.
USDA's weekly Crop Progress Report said as of 6 May, 71% of the corn had been planted in the top 18 corn-producing states, compared with only 24% on the same date in 2011.
Farmers in Iowa, the leading corn-producing state, have managed to plant 64% of intended corn acreage by 6 May, after being slowed by wet soils in April.
The USDA projects that farmers will plant 95.9m (38.8m hectares) acres of corn in 2012, the most since 1937.
The early start to the planting season suggests that corn plantings could surpass 96m acres this year as farmers seek to take advantage of strong prices for corn.
Corn futures closed at $6.65/bushel on Monday at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, up about 4 cents/bushel from the Friday close.
As of 6 May, farmers in the 18 top-producing states have planted 24% of a projected 73.9m acre soybean crop.
Elsewhere, the US cotton crop is 36% planted, while 29% of the sorghum crop is in the ground, along with peanuts at 30%, rice at 77% and spring wheat at 84%.
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