Seeding delays will likely cost some corn acres in North Dakota, with producers in the state expected to plant more soybeans and sunflowers instead, according to a local analyst.
Tom Lilja of Progressive Ag in Fargo, ND said it’s relatively common for producers to switch out of corn and into other alternatives in the event of planting delays, especially with some just getting a good start on the fieldwork over the weekend. Monday’s weekly USDA crop progress report showed just 5% of intended North Dakota corn acres had been planted as of Sunday, well below the five-year average of 26%.
“Guys just started rolling here on (May 14 and 15) fairly heavy. There was a little rain system we had that put a damper on things last week.”
Cold and wet spring conditions have again made planting a challenge for North Dakota producers, after a similarly difficult time a year ago. Rainfall across the state this past week ranged from a trace to three inches, with isolated areas receiving 4-5 inches. Although a return to warmer and drier weather this week is expected to accelerate progress, some other farmers are reportedly still waiting to even get started.
Most of North Dakota has a final crop insurance planting date of May 25 for corn, and June 10 for soybeans.
In its March 31 prospective plantings report, the USDA estimated North Dakota farmers would plant 3.75 million acres of corn this year, up from 2.95 million in 2022. Soybean intentions in the state were reported at 6.55 million, above last year’s 5.7 million, while sunflower area was pegged at 659,000 acres compared to 717,000 a year ago.