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U. S. Well Ahead In Seeding

U. S. farmers are seeding corn at a record pace this spring and have made a good start in soybean planting despite rainy weather during the past week.

U. S. Agriculture Department data released May 3 that showed farmers had completed 68 per cent of their corn planting as of May 2. The record for early May has been 63 per cent in 2004.

“We had some rain, but that was just a speed bump,” said Don Roose, analyst with U. S. Commodities in West Des Moines, Iowa.

USDA also said soybean plantings were 15 per cent complete compared to five per cent in the prior year.

“You can cite an area here or an area there that is having a problem but as a whole, across the corn belt, it has worked out to be an ideal season,” said Shawn McCambridge, analyst with Prudential Bache Commodities in Chicago.

A year ago, corn planting was only 32 per cent complete, the USDA said. The five-year average for the 2005-09 time period was 40 per cent.

Farmers aim to finish planting corn by the middle of May so most of their crop has passed through the key pollination phase – critical to determining final yields – before scorching temperatures arrive in the Midwest.

In its weekly report, USDA estimated corn emerged was at 19 per cent, up 12 percentage points from a week ago.

Spring wheat planted was reported at 60 per cent compared to 43 per cent last week and 47 per cent during the recent five-year average. Spring wheat emerged was estimated at 23 per cent, up 14 percentage points from a week ago and 17 percentage points from this time a year ago.

Winter wheat headed was 27 per cent, up from 14 per cent last week, but trailing the historical average of 31 per cent.

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