Wet weather has done some damage to crops, but the latest U.S.D.A. crop report out Monday showed 79 percent of corn and 75 percent of the soybeans were rated in good to excellent condition. Just 5 percent of the corn crop was rated in either very poor or poor condition as were six percent of the soybeans.
Another U.S.D.A. report on planting showed a record number of soybean acres were planted, but corn planting remained about the same or was down in several Midwestern states. Nationwide about 4 million fewer acres were planted in corn this year — down 4 percent from last year.
The U.S.D.A.’s Anthony Prillaman says many farmers are sticking with what has worked during a run of good years. “Definitely weather concerns, economic concerns, all of that goes into what the farmers end up deciding what they’re going to plant,” Prillaman says.
A fear of lower corn prices may’ve moved many farmers to plant more soybeans. “The biggest thing for soybeans this year was just the economics, is what was driving that increase in that we’re seeing in soybeans acres across the country,” Prillaman says. He says persistent drought conditions may have contributed to lower corn acres in Kansas, Colorado and the Dakotas.
In Iowa, soybean acres are up slightly compared to last year, while farmers planted the same amount of corn. But heavy rains in the past week underscore that ultimately weather will be a major factor.