Planting corn or soybeans

USDA crop progress: Corn crosses halfway mark – and then some

Corn planting goes from moderately behind to nearly matching the five-year average.

Last week was anecdotal proof that when planting pace is slow, a few days of ideal weather is all farmers need to catch up. The latest USDA Crop Progress report showed corn planting vaulted ahead from the prior week’s total of 39% to reach 62% for the week ending May 13. That puts this spring’s planting pace nearly even with the five-year average of 63%. Trade analysts were expecting USDA to report corn planting at 59% complete.

Five states have now reached at least 80% completion, including Illinois (90%), Missouri (91%), North Carolina (92%), Tennessee (86%) and Texas (82%).

Even northern states made solid progress last week. Wisconsin doubled its corn planting progress, for instance, moving from 15% complete to 30%. North Dakota moved from 7% complete to 35% complete. And Minnesota moved from 9% complete to 40% complete.

Corn emergence also took a big leap forward, moving from 8% as of May 6 to 28% last week. The five-year average is 27%.

Soybean planting progress moved ahead of the five-year average of 26%, reaching 35% completion. Southern states like Louisiana (88%) and Mississippi (72%) continue to lead the pack, although Illinois (66%) and Indiana (53%) have both crossed the halfway mark as well. Analysts were expecting USDA to report soybean planting at 30% complete.

Ten percent of the soybean crop is now emerged, compared to 7% a year ago and a five-year average of 6%.

Spring wheat planting has also crossed the halfway mark, with USDA reporting the crop now 58% planted. That’s still somewhat behind the five-year average of 67%, and moderately slower than last year’s pace of 75%. Analysts expected USDA to report 53% of the crop is now in the ground.

Winter wheat condition continues to improve incrementally, with the percentage of the crop rated good or excellent moving from 34% to 36%. Small changes were also noted in the percent of crop rated fair (29% down to 28%), poor (21% up to 22%) and very poor (16% down to 14%). Analysts were expecting no changes to the percentage of the crop rated good to excellent this week.

Physiologically, 45% of the winter wheat crop has reached heading stage, up from 33% a week ago but behind the five-year average of 53%.

Here are some more crop progress updates of note:

  • Barley – 62% planted (up from 42% a week ago)
  • Oats – 72% planted (versus a five-year average of 84%)
  • Sugarbeets – 84% planted (ahead of the five-year average of 78%)
  • Sorghum – 32% planted (in line with the five-year average of 33%)
  • Cotton – 36% planted (up from 20% last week)



Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.