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Nebraska Corn Ends a Bit Short of Plan; Soybeans Lagging

May 27, 2015

Despite managing to plant an added 7 percent of intended corn acreage in the most recent week, Nebraska’s corn is reported at 92 percent complete as of May 24; final crop insurance planting date was May 25. The average for this date in Nebraska is 96 percent. Given the wet weather during the three-day weekend in parts of the state, it’s likely some producers didn’t get 100 percent into the ground.

Iowans have until May 31 to plant within crop insurance guidelines. They increased their seedings from 92 percent to 96 percent in the week ended May 24—now two points ahead of average. South Dakota’s final plant dates are May 25 or 31, depending on where you are located (check with your agent if you aren’t sure). Planting in South Dakota continues ahead of pace--marking 91 percent compared to the average of 85 percent.

Nationally 92 percent of the corn is planted, four points ahead of average; 74 percent has emerged, well ahead of the 62 percent average. In the Farm Credit Services of America (FCSAmerica) territory, corn is emerging ahead of usual: Iowa corn is 81 percent up compared with an average of 71 percent; Nebraska, 73 percent versus 67 percent; and South Dakota 61 percent versus 45 percent.

Iowa’s corn is rated in the best shape of the three states, with only 1 percent poor; South Dakota reports 7 percent in poor condition and Nebraska, 6 percent poor and 1 percent very poor.

Soybean Planting Lags

Final planting dates for soybeans are further off, but the weather has Nebraska growers lagging at just 59 percent planted compared with an average of 73 percent at this time of year. Iowa is one point behind average, at 70 percent, having added almost 20 percent in the past week. South Dakota is 60 percent complete, well ahead of its average of 48 percent. Nationally, 61 percent is planted compared to an average of 55 percent.

The final planting date for soybeans is June 10 in South Dakota and Nebraska, and June 15 in Iowa. The progress made earlier in the season suggests that, with open weather, finishing up shouldn’t be a problem, says Marshall Nelms, vice president of insurance in FCSAmerica’s Lincoln, Neb., office. However, the seven-day forecast is not encouraging for Nebraska farmers, with only two days with less than 50 percent chance of storms. The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s outlook for June 1-5 is no more reassuring. It favors wet weather from the Ohio River throughout the southeast, wet across the Canadian border west of the Great Lakes and south into the northwest portion of Iowa and much of Nebraska.

Crop Insurance Implications 

Producers with corn remaining unplanted or, later, soybeans, have several options, Nelms says: “The first option is to go with Prevent Plant, provided under multiperil (MPCI) coverage, which pays them 60 percent of their insurance guarantee. The insured can make this decision for corn or soybeans after the final plant date for the crop or during the late planting period.  Most producers will plant soybeans during the late planting period. Another option would be grain sorghum, which has final plant dates of May 31 in South Dakota, June 5 or June 15 in Nebraska, and June 10 in Iowa. The other option would be to plant a forage crop such as Sudan grass or forage cane.” 

Another concern given expectations for continued storms in parts of these states is post-planting flooding or drowning. Nelms reminds: “Once the crops have been planted, producers have insurance coverage so, in the case of excess moisture after planting, they have full coverage on that crop and would be able to get a loss payment if flooding caused a reduced yield.”

For more details regarding prevented planting, see our prior posts: Progress Slows; Cold Weather Worries Northern Growers (May 20) and Corn Planting Well Along As Final Planting Dates Approach (May 12).


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