Bloomberg News

Corn Crop Off to Best Start Since 2007; Wheat, Soy Seedings Gain

May 21, 2012

U.S. cornfields are in the best shape for this time of year since 2007 after warm, dry weather led to early planting and recent rains gave plants a good start, the government said. Soybean and wheat planting moved closer to completion.

About 77 percent of the corn was in good or excellent condition as of yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said today in its first assessment of this year’s crop. An estimated 96 percent was planted, compared with 87 percent a week earlier, 75 percent a year earlier and the previous five-year average of 81 percent. About 76 percent of the seeds had emerged from the ground, up from 56 percent a year ago and the prior five-year average of 48 percent, the USDA said.

About 76 percent of the soybean crop was planted, compared with 46 percent a week earlier and the previous five-year average of 42 percent, the USDA said. Plant emergence rose to 35 percent from 10 percent a year earlier.

Farmers had sown 99 percent of the spring-wheat crop as of yesterday, up from 94 percent a week earlier, the department said. The average for the date for the previous five years is 78 percent.

The winter-wheat crop was rated 58 percent good or excellent, compared with 60 percent a week earlier and 32 percent a year earlier, after dry, hot weather stunted growth from Texas to Montana, the USDA said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at jwilson29@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Steve Stroth at sstroth@bloomberg.net.


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