April 17, 2020


US corn's sown area slides below five-year average



Lower than the five-year average of 4% but similar to 2019 levels, USDA showed 3% of the intended US corn acreage planted through Sunday, according to its first crop progress report for 2020-21 released Monday.


The major corn producing states of Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota and the Dakotas did not report any planting.


Illinois had 1% of the corn acreage planted, against the five-year average of 2%.


Sowing in these major corn producing areas of the US—the Midwest, typically begins a little later than other states.


As of now, Texas leads corn planting in the country, with 63% of the state's intended acreage planted, against the five-year average of 53%.


Farmers in North Carolina have planted 28% of the total for the state, higher than the five-year average of 22%.


Kentucky and Kansas have planted 12%, and 6% of the intended acreage under corn, compared to their five-year averages of 12% and 6%, respectively.


USDA has surveyed 18 corn producing states in the country, which accounted for 91% of the 2019-20 corn acreage, the report said.


Though the planting of US corn has started under unusual circumstances, it is likely that COVID-19 will not disrupt sowing operations.


The new coronavirus will not do much to delay farmers from planting, said Arlan Suderman, chief economist with INTL FCStone.


There might be local disruptions to distribution of seed and other inputs, but most of it should be in place added Suderman.


Another farmer from Chicago, Steve Pitstick echoed Suderman's view, "as of now it doesn't appear there will be issues with planting," he said.


The USDA has estimated corn acreage in the US for 2020-21 (September-August) at 96.99 million acres, 4% higher on year, and the highest after 2012-13.