It’s crunch time for corn.
Grain traders are anxiously waiting USDA’s weekly crop progress report late Monday as it will tell the story of how U.S. corn was planted this season.
As of May 24, American farmers still had 15 million corn acres of a projected 85 million yet to plant as heavy spring rains in the eastern Corn Belt delayed planting by at least 10 days to two weeks in many areas. Midwest acres seeded after mid-May usually lose more than a bushel a day on yield.
“Analysts are wondering how many of the remaining 15 million acres will be planted to soybeans rather than corn,” Mike Woolverton, Kansas State University grain economist, said in his weekly newsletter.
“The consensus guess is one million acres if it immediately stops raining in the eastern Corn Belt and Mid-south; up to two million acres if it stays wet,” he said.
Midwest farmers are also bumping up against planting deadlines in their crop insurance plans. In Illinois — the No. 2 corn producer following Iowa and among the eastern Corn Belt states struggling the most — farmers have until June 5 to decide whether or not they are going to plant corn or cash-in on their insurance.