May 11, 2009

Corn lagging, especially in two states

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said Monday the nation's corn crop still lagged behind its historic planting average.

The 18 largest corn producing states reported 48 percent of the acreage had seeds in the ground, compared to a five-year average of 71 percent done for this week of the year, the department said.

Farmers in Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska were ahead of their historic averages and North Carolina was one percentage point behind its average at 95 percent done. But Illinois and Indiana, with 10 percent and 11 percent done, respectively, were far behind their normal pace.

Historically, Illinois is 84 percent done by this week of the year, while Indiana, historically, is 70 percent done.

Corn emergence shows a similar pattern, with Minnesota, Iowa, Nebraska and North Carolina leading the pack. In Indiana, 2 percent of the corn acreage has emerged, compared to an historic average of 29 percent for this time of year.

Winter wheat, which is planted in the fall, is 40 percent headed out compared to an historic average of 48 percent in the 18 largest wheat producing states. In Oklahoma, 94 percent of the crop has headed out, in step with its historic average, the weekly crop report said.