US farmers are proving again that with all their equipment and some decent planting weather, they can plant a lot of crop in a short while.


US corn is 51 percent planted, up 24 from last week. Normal for May 3 is 39 percent. The major states of Illinois and Iowa are at 78 and 56 percent respectively.


Soybean planting is at a record pace, with 23 percent in the ground. The average is 11 percent now. 46 percent of the soybeans are planted in Iowa, while Illinois is at 31 percent.


A mostly dry, albeit cold forecast means the rapid pace is likely continuing this week. Early planting generally leads to stronger yields. 2016 saw the fastest corn planting, and they had record yields.


There has been some progress in Ontario, but it is much slower. The heavier soils still aren’t fit, as the cool temperatures are slowing soil drying. The forecast is for more cold, but dry, so planting will proceed.


China is still well behind the pace needed to reach the targets set in Phase 1 of the trade agreement. Trump also feels CoVid wasn’t handled well by them. Trade relations are getting more strained.


Corona virus is still the main news story, by far. More and more countries are reducing restrictions on their citizens. Hopefully a secondary spike in cases doesn’t happen.


I believe people will still keep their distances, which will surely help. The world has sure changed in the past 2 or 3 months, socially and economically. Some good will come from all of this.


The economy is suffering, however. 30 million Americans have applied for unemployment insurance in the past 6 weeks. That’s over 16 percent of their workforce. It wipes out all the job gains of the past 10 years.


Government deficits are exploding. The US will add $3 trillion to theirs this year. Some think Canada’s yearly deficit could hit $252 billion this year. These are scary numbers, and there will eventually be consequences.


There was better news in livestock futures. Hogs have gained 56 percent since their low on April 14, while cattle are up a more minor 10 cents a pound since April. Hopefully packing plants get back to full production shortly.

 

Frank Backx

 

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