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Smaller corn, soybean yields expected as wet weather persists in Midwest

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Corn and soybean planting data showed a slight improvement in this week’s U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Crop Progress compared to last week, but planting still remains behind schedule in 17 of 18 key states for both corn and soybeans compared with 2014-2018 averages.

The corn crop was projected at 15 billion bushels, up from last year’s crop of 14.3 billion bushels, according to the USDA. However, AccuWeather meteorologists estimate the 2019 corn crop will yield 14.2 billion bushels, which is slightly below last year’s yield.

Similarly, the USDA estimated the soybean crop to yield 4.15 billion bushels in a May 10 report, following a 2018 season that saw a record 4.54 billion bushels.

AccuWeather, however, estimates the 2019 soybean crop will be 4.1 billion bushels, which is below the USDA estimate. The continued wet weather has led to delays in planting corn and soybeans, the two main crops for Midwestern farmers.

Corn planting as of May 20 in 18 key U.S. states is off 38.75 percent compared with the five-year average according to the Crop Progress; by now, 80 percent of corn in those key states is normally planted, but this week’s report shows that only 49 percent is planted.

Soybean planting is off 59.5 percent of its five-year average with just 19 percent of soybeans planted in the 18 key states, compared to a normal of 47 percent by the beginning of this week.

More wet weather is expected in the Midwest through Wednesday, including flooding downpours, hail and possible tornadoes, as well as during next weekend.

“That will raise some concerns for getting the crops in on time,” AccuWeather senior meteorologist Jason Nicholls said. “The biggest problem areas are Nebraska, Minnesota and the Dakotas.”

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