Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Debts of the Spenders: The Wheat Weather Outlook

Watch the end of this month when the crop insurance deadline looms.

Time Runs Short For US Spring Wheat Planting After Delays

Time is running short for spring wheat producers who have spent weeks waiting for weather to clear up so they can plant their crop.

Many farmers in North Dakota, the country’s top spring wheat-growing state, will give up on planting wheat if they can’t get it done before the end of the month, crop specialists said. Yield potential has already started to wither because of the planting delays, caused by unseasonably
cool temperatures and excessive precipitation, they said.

Overall, 35% of U.S. spring wheat was planted as of Sunday, down from 77% last year and the average of 78%, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Thirteen percent of the North
Dakota’s crop was seeded, down from 78% last year and the average of 74%. Farmers won’t be able to make much planting progress this week because of damp weather across the northern Plains, meteorologists said.

Rain fell Tuesday in North Dakota and was expected to continue Wednesday.

“Thirteen percent planted, that’s pretty discouraging,” said Joel Ransom, a North Dakota State University extension agronomist. “It’d be hard to catch up, that’s for sure, even if we have good
planting conditions. We don’t. We’re still getting lots of reports of puddles in fields, and now this new rainfall is going to set us back further.”

Along with being the tail-end of the planting period, May 31 also is the deadline for growers to apply for full crop insurance coverage, Ransom said. After that day, growers will receive less money if they file insurance claims because the weather prevented them from seeding a
crop, he said.

“If they have insurance and do a prevent plant, then maybe that’s what they’ll take,” he said. “I think most people want to plant a crop if they can get out there.”

The weather looks as though it may dry up next week, which could offer producers a window to advance planting, said Drew Lerner, president of World Weather Inc. Producers can plant a lot of wheat quickly if conditions turn warm enough and dry enough, agronomists said.

The northern Plains will see a “marked warm-up” for at least two days early next week, according to a forecast from T-Storm Weather. However, that should “set the stage for at least a few more” thunderstorms, the private weather firm said.

“It won’t be absolutely dry, but they should have a better environment next week,” Lerner said.
North Dakota produced 246.4 million bushels of spring wheat other than durum in 2008, with an average yield of 38.5 bushels per acre, according to the USDA. Total U.S. production of spring wheat other than durum was 546.7 million.

Source: CME Commodity News for Tomorrow


Blog Archive