More than a quarter of the U.S. corn crop was planted last week as dry conditions allowed rapid progress in the western Corn Belt, however, planting remained at a virtual standstill in eastern growing areas.
USDA on Monday afternoon estimated that 40% of the U.S. corn crop had been planted by May 8, up from only 13% a week earlier, but still well behind the five-year average of 59% and far behind last year’s record pace of 80% for the date.
Corn emergence is also well behind with 7% of the crop emerged as of Sunday against 36% a year earlier and an average pace of 21%. Warming temperatures should boost corn emergence this week.
Planting activity rocketed ahead in the top growing state of Iowa, with producers putting 61% of their crop in the ground last week to push overall progress to 69%, on par with the five-year average.
The weekly increase in planting progress was the largest since the first week of May in 1992 when producers planted 64% of the Iowa crop.
Nebraska producers also made rapid progress last week, planting 42% of their crop to push overall progress to 57%, vs. an average pace of 60%.
Producers were able to get going in parts of the No. 2 corn state of Illinois and planting progress there advanced to 24 points to 34% against 93% a year earlier and an average pace of 62%.
However, little planting took place in the waterlogged states of Indiana and Ohio, with Indiana planting progress advancing only 2 points to 4% against a five-year average of 49% and Ohio planting advancing just 1 point to 2% done against an average of 54%.
Indiana planting progress was not far ahead of the slowest year on record, which was 1961, when only 1% of the crop had been planted by May 10. Some corn that was planted in April will need to be replanted.
Planting also continued to lag in the northwest Corn Belt with South Dakota corn 17% planted as of Sunday against an average pace of 33% and North Dakota’s crop only 3% planted versus an average of 35%.
U.S. soybean planting is also lagging with USDA reporting nationwide progress at 7% as of Sunday against the average pace of 17% and last year’s 28%.
Editor’s note: Richard Brock, Corn & Soybean Digest's marketing editor, is president of Brock Associates, a farm market advisory firm, and publisher of The Brock Report.