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May Forecast Raises Uncertainties for U.S. Corn
USAgNet - 05/08/2017

The planting and emergence of the 2017 U.S. corn crop is right on schedule, but the weather might continue to present some unique challenges as May begins. Reuters reports that the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday placed corn plantings at 34 percent complete by April 30, identical to the five-year average but below last year's 43 percent. Emergence stood at 9 percent, compared with an average of 8 percent, and 12 percent one year ago.

Even though the progress pace lines up with recent averages, an “on-time” crop can feel late, especially this year given the economic battle with soybeans, corn’s key competitor. If planting pace is quick, the market has much more confidence that corn acres are unlikely to fall from intentions.

But an average pace introduces more uncertainties over both planting and emergence, particularly if the weather forecasts are not entirely promising.

May is a critically important month for the planting and development of the United States’ top grain crop. On average over the last five years, some 36 percent of the corn is planted by May 1, and that climbs to 94 percent by May 31.

Emergence is just as prominent during this period. About 10 percent of the crop is emerged by May 1, and by May 31 it has reached 79 percent. The first condition scores are usually issued by the end of May, and crops that are lagging in emergence at that time do not typically receive high ratings.

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