US corn acreage may drop on wet weather

Farmers may switch out for soybeans, says agricultural meteorologist

Wet weather in the U.S. Midwest through the beginning of June may lead to a decrease in corn acreage and cause a possible switch to soybeans, according to Joel Widenor, an agricultural meteorologist with Commodity Weather Group. Reductions are most likely in northeastern Iowa, southeastern Minnesota, central North Dakota and western Wisconsin.

In other parts of the Midwest, warmer weather with highs in the 80s Fahrenheit to lower 90s F would help dry soils between showers and speed corn and soybean emergence, said Widenor. “The southeastern Midwest will see the least showers over the next two weeks and soil moisture deficits will begin to show up, but it is still too early to pose a significant problem,” he said.

 In its weekly crop progress report on May 20, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said corn planting was 71 percent complete, up from 28 percent the previous week but still behind the 79 percent five-year average seeding pace. The USDA has projected U.S. 2013 corn plantings at 97.3 million acres, the largest land area devoted to its production since the 1930s. Soybean planting progress rose to 24 percent from 6 percent a week earlier, according to the USDA.