April 26, 2022


US farmers off to slow start in corn planting this year



US farmers in major growing areas are getting a late start this year with corn planting, and the current predictions show rains and chilly temperatures in the southern Midwest and Mississippi River Delta over the next two weeks, Reuters reported.


A large crop from the United States is needed this year to help fill the supply gap created by Russia's invasion into Ukraine, which has left grain stocks from the previous year stranded in Ukraine and threatens to affect production in 2022 because Ukrainian farmers there are unable to plant due to the conflict.


Sterling Smith, AgriSompo North America's director of agricultural research, said it is critical that US farmers produce maximum crop to keep prices stable, adding that excellent weather will be required, but they do not currently have great weather. 


Since Russia's invasion into Ukraine, corn futures on the Chicago Board of Trade have increased 17.5%, with the most active contract approaching a 10-year high. Importers continue to seek other suppliers for their grain as Ukraine's export ports remain closed.


The International Grains Council lowered its projections for world maize output in 2022/23 by 13 million tonnes to 1.197 billion tonnes. Ukrainian farmers harvested 41.9 million tonnes of corn last year, making it the world's sixth largest maize producer.


According to the US Agriculture Department (USDA), just 4% of the maize crop in the US has been planted as of April 17, 3 percentage points lower compared to a year ago and below the five-year average of 6%. Farmers based in key corn-producing states including Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, and North Dakota have yet to plant any corn.


More rain was anticipated for the Midwest's southern regions this weekend, where farmers are usually operating planters by now. David Streit, a Commodity Weather Group meteorologist, said chilly temperatures will resume next week after a temporary warm-up.


Farmers in the US aim to complete their corn seeding by mid-May, but output potential could drop by about a bushel per acre for each day their crop is planted past that deadline.


-      Reuters

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