USDA data indicates that corn planted after the middle of this month (May) tends to produce lower yields than corn crops planted in April or early part of May. This isn’t good news for anyone involved.

In a May 21 note, Stanley Elliott, analyst with Stifel, said, “While corn plantings have been behind all year, we are now entering the period of corn plantings where timing begins to matter and any additional delays are likely to lead to increased prevented acres, depressed corn yields and increased switching to soybeans. With additional rain in the forecast, these developments appear to have stabilized corn prices in the near term but could prove incrementally bearish for soybeans given potential for increased switching.

“Of note, the WASDE report from May 10 did not include any impact from prevented corn acres nor an impact from delayed plantings on yields, suggesting USDA’s estimated corn ending stock numbers may drift lower in subsequent months.”

The 5 year average for corn planted by May 19 is 80% of total acres in the 18 states that planted 92% of the 2018 acreage. So far in 2019, only 49% of corn is in the ground. This is up from 30% the prior week, but down from 78% of corn planted by this date in 2018.

So far, only 19% of corn acres are classified as “emerged. This compares with 10% the week prior 47% on this date last year and the 5 year average of 49%.

Soybeans, which are typically planted later, aren’t much better off at this stage. According to USDA’s May 20 Crop Progress report, only 19% of soybean acres have been planted. This up from 9% a week earlier, but far down from a year ago when 53% of soybean acres had been planted. It’s also behind the 5 year average of 47% planted by this date.

The ag agency also reported that only 5% of soybeans have emerged. Last year at this time, 24% had emerged. The 5 year average is 17% of soybean acres emerged by May 19.