Recent reports from the US Department of Agriculture offer good news for petfood manufacturers that use corn- or wheat-based ingredients in their formulations: Planting of corn and wheat in the US is ahead of schedule so far this year thanks to favorable weather. As of April 15, about 37% of the spring wheat crop had been seeded and 17% of the corn crop had been planted, according to reports.
Both percentages represent increases over previous five-year averages for the same date (9% for wheat and 5% for corn), USDA said. Compared with last year at this time, this year's plantings are also well ahead; as of April 15, 2011, only 5% of the spring wheat crop had been planted. Moreover, because of above normal levels of rain in parts of the southern Great Plains and the Midwest in the US, the potential for wheat yield has improved, said Mike Tannura, president of T-Storm Weather LLC. USDA estimates 64% of this year's wheat crop is in good or excellent condition, compared with only 36% at this point last year.