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)
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.