April 24, 2014

USDA report finds corn planting rocketing ahead of last year

The latest USDA report shows Nebraska farmers are making good progress in their fields.

The Husker State’s corn crop is 44% planted, well ahead of last year’s 12%. Only 6% of the soybeans are in, which is also ahead of the average for this date of 2%. Oats are 93% planted.

Paul Bertels, an economist with the National Corn Growers Association, says things are looking good across the region, so far.

“There’s a lot of things that can happen between now and fall but from what we hear, they’re off to a good start,” Bertels says.

Corn prices remain at more than $6 a bushel, but Bertels says a record or near-record crop would push that down somewhat. He says early planting across the Corn Belt could make for an excellent harvest.

“Right now, moisture does not seem to be a problem in most of the Corn Belt, either too much or too little,” he says. “This cold weather over the past two weeks is a little troubling and it might slow the emergence down a bit, but things are off to a good start.”

In the 18 states that grow the vast majority of the nation’s corn, 53% of the crop is in the ground.