Farmers in Minnesota are finally wrapping up their planting, and turning to spraying and fertilizing after a cool, wet spring kept them out of their fields far later than usual.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 99% of the corn crop and 94% of the soybean crop in the state were planted as of Sunday.
Farmers raced to make up ground last week and got an assist from the weather, with five days suitable for planting. The delayed planting forced farmers to switch out their seed for seed that matures earlier, and to quickly calculate whether it makes sense to plant their fields at all, given the insurance penalties for planting corn after June 1 and the rapid drop in yields for corn planted after mid-May.
Farmers in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois are still well behind, the USDA said Monday. Less than 70% of the corn crop had been planted in Ohio on Sunday, while 84% of corn in Indiana and 88% of corn in Illinois had been planted.
Soybeans can be planted later than corn, but it’s now too late to plant corn for harvest and sale as a commodity, the University of Minnesota Extension said. Farmers in southern Minnesota may still plant corn for sileage until June 25.
Sileage is what’s produced when the entire plant is harvested, ground up and fed to livestock.
A Bloomberg survey of analysts last week predicted up to 6.7 million acres of corn in the U.S. will not be planted in 2019 because of the wettest 12 months on record.
Corn prices have risen by more than a dollar per bushel in the past month, to $4.55 on Monday, and the USDA cut its projected corn yields for the year by 9% in June. That movement in the market helped some farmers decide to plant corn even though they knew their yields would suffer by putting the seed in the ground so late.
The USDA will release its projection for soybean yields on July 11.
Adam Belz • 612-673-4405 Twitter: @adambelz