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Planting begins in the U.S.

Planting begins in the U.S.

Farmers have planted about 2 percent of the national corn crop

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Some American farmers have started their 2019 planting seasons.

Producers have planted about 2 percent of the national corn acres, the USDA’s Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin said on April 9. That figure is on par with the five-year average.

From a state perspective, Texas farmers are the furthest ahead.

Producers there have planted 53 percent of the state’s corn, the USDA said.

The crop is at different stages depending on location, said David Gibson, executive director of Texas Corn Producers.

Texas farmers “will be planting about two million acres and we’ve got about 1.3 million acres in the ground,” he told Farms.com. “We have some corn in the Rio Grande Valley that might start tasseling in a week or 10 days.

“We also have some areas in the Panhandle that are a little drier than we’d like to see at this time and are getting some high winds. Farmers won’t be planting that crop until the end of the month or even later, so let’s hope the conditions in those areas improve.”

The only other states to record any corn planting are Kansas (2 percent), Kentucky (2 percent), Missouri (2 percent), North Carolina (5 percent) and Tennessee (8 percent).

Spring wheat planting is also underway.

U.S. farmers have seeded 1 percent of the 2019 spring wheat crop, the USDA said. That figure is down from the five-year average of 5 percent.

Only two states have recorded any spring wheat planting.

Farmers in Washington have planted 11 percent of the state’s 2019 spring wheat acres and growers in Idaho have planted 3 percent of their spring wheat crop.

Idaho’s figure is down from the five-year average of 26 percent.

Weather is the main reason for being behind schedule, said Ryan Searle, a wheat producer from Shelley, Idaho.

“It seems that, every time I finish a field, it rains,” he told Farms.com. “That’s a good thing in one sense but, in another, it just slows me down. I would usually be finished planting right now but I’ve probably still got 60 percent of my crop left to plant.”

Winter wheat is starting to head.

About 3 percent of the winter wheat crop has headed, the USDA said. That number is only down one percentage point from the five-year average.

Winter wheat in Texas is 15 percent headed. That figure is the highest among the 18 documented states.

Only Arkansas and California (10 percent each) and Illinois (1 percent) have also recorded winter wheat heading.

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