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Arkansas 2015 Planting Progress
Author: Scott Stiles, Extension Economist

Today’s weekly Crop Progress and Condition report from the Arkansas NASS field office continues to reveal the slower-than-average 2015 planting pace. Excess precipitation, mainly in the northeastern counties of the state, is slowing overall planting progress. Corn planting is 51% complete as of April 12, compared to a five-year average pace of 58%. Rice planting is 21% complete, compared to a 27% five-year average. Sorghum planting is 14% complete, compared to a 29% five-year average.

Link to slides: 4-13-2015 Arkansas Crop Progress

(includes planting progress, wheat conditions, report calendar)

Market Commentary:

Particular attention is being paid to the slow corn planting progress in the Delta and whether this acreage may shift to other crops. Sorghum planting progress is also a concern, particularly in Texas.  Per the March 31 NASS Prospective Plantings survey, Texas is expected to plant 3 million acres of grain sorghum or 38% of the U.S. total of 7.9 million.  As of April 12, Texas had 39% of sorghum acres planted compared to a 5 year average of 51%.  Along the Mississippi river, new crop (2015) sorghum basis is 70 to 80 cents above futures and bids are generally above $4.60 per bushel.  Sorghum’s basis strength could continue to firm if Texas and Delta planting continues to fall behind. The April 9 USDA supply/demand report pushed U.S. 2014/15 sorghum exports to a record 350 million bushels on strong demand from China. A continuation of sorghum planting progress and export sales to China should be watched closely for indications of future new crop basis direction.

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