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US soybean planting pace should accelerate in coming days: USDA

Highlights

Pace decelerated in week that ended May 30 due to rain

70% of soybean in good or excellent condition.

New Delhi — The planting pace for the US soybean crop should accelerate later this week on favorable weather in the Midwest, the US Department of Agriculture said June 3.

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Very warm weather is set to prevail throughout the Midwest, promoting a rapid pace of corn, soybean and winter wheat development, the USDA added.

In the week that ended May 30, the soy planting pace slowed a notch on rain in the Midwest, sources said. However, the pace was still ahead of the five-year average.

US farmers had planted 75% of the intended soybean acreage of 83.5 million acres for the 2020-21 marketing year through May 31, up 39 percentage points on the year and 7 percentage points above the five-year average, USDA data showed June 1.

The 2020-21 marketing year runs from September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021.

Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska headed the planting pace table at 95% of their overall acreage, the USDA data showed.

Farmers are taking a risk on expectations that soil moisture will be favorable in the coming weeks, sources said. It seems that their risk may be paying off.

So far, 52% of the planted soybeans have emerged, compared with 17% at the same point last year and a 44% average in the last five years, the USDA data showed June 1.

With warm temperatures and sufficient rainfall in majority of regions, the condition of 70% of the soybean crop was rated good to excellent, the USDA said.

FLOODING RISK PERSISTS

Notwithstanding the brisk pace of soybean planting in the US, flooding is possible in some pockets of Midwestern states in coming weeks, an analyst said.

There is a real possibility of flooding in the Midwest in the next two months, a USDA official said previously. However, crop damage and delays may not be as bad as last year, he added.

Spring flooding in 2019 wreaked havoc on the soybean acreage across the Midwest, which accounts for over 80% of total soy production in the US. Nearly 6% of soy acreage was not planted in the US in 2019, with a loss of 4.5 million acres. As a result, US soybean production was estimated to have declined 20% on the year to 96.84 million mt in 2019-20.

Soybean planting generally begins by mid-April in the US, with sowing starting in the Midwest in late April after the ground has recovered from the winter freeze and wet soil. US soybean output is projected to total 112 million mt in 2020-21, up 16% on the year, assuming no severe weather disruption, the USDA said in May.

However, flooding in the coming weeks could affect the acreage planted and production, sources said.