June 10, 2009

                           
US soy planting pass last year's pace
                                     


US soy planting as of Sunday (June 7) exceeded last year's pace but still lagged behind the five-year average, while the corn crop was almost completely in the ground, the US Department of Agriculture said Monday in its weekly crop progress report.

 

Meanwhile, spring wheat seedings were nearing completion, with 4 percent of the crop unplanted. US winter wheat ratings slipped slightly as harvest moves forward.

 

Soy planting was 78 percent complete as of Sunday, compared to 76 percent last year and the five-year average of 87 percent, the USDA said. That was toward the low end of trade expectations, which ranged from 77 percent to 83 percent. A week ago, 66 percent of the crop was planted.

 

States like Illinois and Indiana continued to lag behind in planting progress this season. Illinois was 59 percent planted, compared to 65 percent last year and the average of 88 percent, while Indiana was 69 percent planted, compared to 71 percent last year and the average of 87 percent, the USDA said.

 

Iowa plantings were near completion. The crop was 95 percent seeded, up from 85 percent last year and the average of 95 percent.

 

The plantings numbers don't mean that much at this point, as the seedings aren't terribly behind, said Dale Durchholz, analyst with Agrivisor in Bloomington, Illinois.

 

Weather is more important to watch, if rains stay farther north in the Midwest, the wettest areas of Illinois and Indiana will rapidly move along in their seedings, Durchholz said.

 

In southeastern Illinois, only 21 percent of the crop is planted, while in the southwest 45 percent is planted, according to USDA.

 

Overall, the crop was 55 percent emerged, compared to 52 percent last year and the average of 70 percent, according to the USDA. A week ago, 36 percent of soy had emerged.

 

Iowa's crop was 80 percent emerged, compared to 59 percent last year and the average of 80 percent. In Illinois, emergence was 23 percent, compared to 41 percent last year and the average of 76 percent.

 

Corn planting was 97 percent complete as of Sunday, on par with last year and just below the average of 99 percent, the USDA said. The planting progress was at the high end of trade estimates, which ranged from 95 percent to 97 percent complete. A week ago, 93 percent of the crop was planted.

 

Plantings have finally caught up on corn, and the crop is emerging well, keeping up with last year, said Shawn McCambridge, senior grains analyst with Prudential Bache in Chicago.

 

The crop was 87 percent emerged, on par with last year, but down from the average of 94 percent. A week ago, 73 percent had emerged.

 

"With plenty of soil moisture, emergence won't be an issue this year," McCambridge said.

 

In Iowa, 99 percent of the crop was planted, down from the five-year average of 100 percent. Ninety five percent of the state's crop was emerged, up from 87 percent last year and just shy of the five-year average at 96 percent.

 

In Illinois, 93 percent of the crop was planted, compared to 95 percent last year and the average of 99 percent. The crop was 73 percent emerged, down from 86 percent last year and the average of 96 percent. USDA said 69 percent of US corn is in good-to-excellent shape. That was in line with trader expectations. Last week, 70 percent of the crop was rated good-to-excellent.

 

"Crop ratings declined by 1 percentage point, but at 69 percent, it's still very good," McCambridge said. "It will take a few weeks to solidify crop ratings, as crops are just emerging from the ground," McCambridge said.

 

US spring wheat was 96 percent planted as of Sunday, down from 100 percent last year and the average of 100 percent, the USDA said. A week ago, planting was 89 percent complete. Traders had estimated planting would be at least 96 percent complete.

 

The spring wheat belt may see a little more planting, but it is getting to a point where it's the end of the season for plantings, said McCambridge.

 

The crop was 84 percent emerged, down from 97 percent last year and the average of 97 percent. A week ago, 67 percent of the crop had emerged.

 

In North Dakota, the biggest spring wheat-growing state, planting was 94 percent complete, down from 100 percent last year and the average of 99 percent, according to the USDA. The crop was 75 percent emerged, compared to 99 percent last year and the average of 96 percent.

 

Overall, the crop was rated 72 percent good-to-excellent, up from 63 percent last year, according to the USDA. North Dakota's crop was rated 78 percent good-to-excellent.

 

Crop emergence looks good and drier areas are getting needed rains, and the good conditions could offset concerns about the potential for lost acres in the northern plains, McCambridge said.

 

Winter wheat was 84 percent headed as of Sunday, compared to 82 percent last year and the average of 88 percent. A week ago, 77 percent of the crop was headed.

 

"The crop continues to progress well, with lower crop ratings reflective of crops reaching maturity, said McCambridge.

 

The USDA rated 44 percent of the crop as good-to-excellent, down 1 percentage point from last week. US winter wheat crop conditions were expected to be unchanged to down 1 percentage point in the combined good and excellent categories.