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Arkansas Corn and Grain Sorghum Weekly Update – June 26, 2015
Author: Arkansas Row Crops

Corn and Grain Sorghum Update – Dr. Jason Kelley (Wheat and Feed Grains Specialist)

This week has been the warmest of the year across much of the state with highs in the mid-to upper 90s’.  One Little Rock meteorologist mentioned that one day earlier this week was the warmest since September 2013, which puts things into perspective.  With the warm temperatures and high water usage by corn, many have been struggling to keep with water demands.  Many fields are being irrigated timely, but soils have sealed over and irrigation water is not soaking in as it needs to.  Next week after a cold front comes through high temperatures are supposed to be several degrees cooler which will help and hopefully we will get some much needed rain.  Foliar disease levels remain low with only scattered reports of Northern Corn Leaf Blight being found.

Much of the early planted grain sorghum is at the boot stage or heading, the time when water usage is the highest, and plants will be using nearly as much water as corn during these stages.  Having adequate water at heading is needed for good head exertion and to achieve maximum yields.  Disease levels have been fairly light this year so far, but several diseases at low levels can be found including; bacterial leaf blight and sooty stripe.  Sugarcane aphids have been found on grain sorghum in Chicot, Desha, Ashley, and Arkansas counties of Southeast Arkansas but are still at low levels.  Sorghum midge levels have been low so far this year, but producers need to be scouting heading/flowering grain sorghum fields to verify low numbers.

Corn and Grain Sorghum Research Verification – Kevin Lawson (Corn & GS Verification Coordinator)

Tropical Storm Bill brought some much needed rain to several of the fields.  Irrigation was delayed on a few of the fields that received near or over an inch of rain.  The fields that have reached reproductive stages pollinated well and are progressing.  All of the fields should be tasseled by next week.

The two grain sorghum fields are approaching boot, which is a critical time for water.  Grain sorghum needs adequate moisture when it is heading to maximize head exertion.  Both fields are going to wait and see what the forecast brings for Friday and if no rain, both are set to irrigate.

Corn Borer Moth Trap Counts:   Lonoke Co – 2 moths      Conway Co – 0 moths    Pope Co – 0 moths

June 26 corn update 1

June 26 gs update 1

Southeast Arkansas Update – Wes Kirkpatrick (Desha County)  

Many corn acres are at brown silk.  Grain sorghum is heading.  Sugarcane aphid is present but I haven’t heard of any populations at treatment threshold.  Irrigation is the main focus right now.

Central Arkansas Update – Anthony Whittington (Jefferson County)

Heat units are really going up this week with the hottest temps of the year so far. Starting to see some grain sorghum heads emerging, so let the midge scouting begin. Both corn and grain sorghum continues to be good throughout the area.

Northeast Arkansas Update – Stewart Runsick (Clay County)

About half the corn in the county is tasseling, and the other half will be soon. Irrigation is beginning again this week as some areas only received an inch or less of rainfall.  No disease or insect problems to report yet.

River Valley Update – Kevin VanPelt (Conway County)

Producers in the River Valley are back to irrigating corn this week with temperatures averaging in the high 90’s. There’s a lot of variation in the crop stages due to late planting times and the effects from flooding, but most of the corn has reached tassel.

Market Update – Scott Stiles (Economics Specialist)                              

Declining crop conditions, continued rains and wind damage in key corn producing states this week has pushed corn futures higher.  In Monday’s NASS Crop Progress report, the national corn condition rating dropped 2 percentage points to 71% good-to-excellent.  This was the second week in row U.S. corn condition ratings declined.   Conditions nationally are still above the 5 and 10 year averages but are below last year’s record rating for this point in the growing season.

As a reminder, the USDA will release its June 1 Grain Stocks and Acreage reports next Tuesday, June 30, at 11:00 am CDT. The average trade guess for U.S. corn acres is 89.3 million vs. the USDA March 31 intentions of 89.2 million. The range of guesses for 2015 corn acres is 88.1 million to 91.7 million.  Grain sorghum acreage is projected to be higher in the June 30 Acreage report at 8.3 million vs 7.9 million in the March 31 Prospective Plantings report.

New crop corn basis has been steady this week at Mississippi river terminals.  Grain sorghum basis turned 5 cents weaker Tuesday and has remained stable through Thursday.  In USDA’s weekly Export Sales report released Thursday morning, old crop (2014) corn shipments were higher last week at 44.3 million bushels compared to 41.1 the week prior.  Net Sales of corn were lower at 19.6 million bushels vs. 24.7 million the previous week.  With 10 weeks remaining in the marketing year, the 2014 Total Commitment (sales + shipments) for corn now stands at 1.775 billion bushels vs. the June USDA export estimate of 1.825 billion bushels.

Sales and shipments of U.S. grain sorghum were very small last week.  The U.S. shipped 1,653 bushels to Canada.  Net Sales were 5,708 bushels, split among Canada and South Korea.  The old crop Total Commitment for sorghum currently stands at 330 million bushels compared to the USDA’s June estimate of 350 million bushels.

At mid-day Thursday, both the September and December futures contracts were trading 12 cents higher and have gained about 24 cents this week.  The new crop contracts are currently trading at the highest levels seen since April 23. The monthly charts for both contracts are indicating a trend change to the upside and an indication the market believes upcoming 2015 production estimates will be declining.  In addition, next week’s Grain Stocks and Acreage reports will be closely watched by traders.

Commodity markets will be closed next Friday in observance of the July 4th holiday.

Heat Units

Heat units were high this week as we experienced the highest temperatures of the year so far.  The weather station in the St Francis County Corn Verification field read 100 degrees on June 24.  We are about a week ahead of the 30 year average on heat unit accumulation.

June 26 gdd 1

Twitter – Jason Kelley @AR_Feedgrains, Kevin Lawson @ar_cornverify

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