USDA Crop Progress - Corn Planting Speeds Up, But Still Lags Average Pace

OMAHA (DTN) -- Corn planting progress jumped 12 percentage points last week thanks to warmer, drier weather across much of the Midwest, but was still well behind the average pace as of Sunday, April 29, according to USDA National Ag Statistics Service's weekly Crop Progress report released Monday.

NASS estimated that 17% of corn was planted as of Sunday, up from 5% the previous week but 15 percentage points behind last year's pace of 32% and 10 percentage points behind the five-year average of 27%.

Corn emergence, on the other hand, was running closer to the average pace with 3% of the crop emerged as of Sunday, behind 8% last year and an average pace of 6%.

Soybean planting continued at an average pace of 5% complete as of Sunday.

Winter wheat was 19% headed, well behind last year's 41% and also behind the average of 30%. Winter wheat condition continued to improve slightly last week to 33% good to excellent, up 2 percentage points from the previous week.

DTN Analyst Todd Hultman noted that the current 33% good-to-excellent rating for winter wheat is the same as was seen in 2014 when the winter wheat yield came in at 42.6 bushels per acre.

Spring wheat was 10% planted, well behind the average pace of 36%. Barley was 26% planted, compared to 11% last week, 31% last year and a 44% average. Seven percent of the crop was emerged as of Sunday, compared to 13% last year and a 17% average.

Cotton was 12% planted as of Sunday, compared to 10% last week, 14% last year and a 14% average. Rice was 55% planted, compared to 49% last week, 72% last year and 57% on average. Twenty-nine percent of the crop was emerged, compared to 21% last week, 56% last year and a 38% average.

Sorghum was 26% planted as of Sunday, compared to 24% last week, 27% last year and a 26% average.

Oats were 39% planted, compared to 31% last week, 66% last year and a 64% average. Twenty-nine percent of the crop was emerged, compared to 26% last week, 46% last year and a 44% average.

The following are highlights from weekly crop progress reports issued by National Ag Statistics Service offices in individual states.

Colorado

Fieldwork and spring planting progressed quickly around moisture events this past week. Midweek moisture was mostly confined to eastern districts, while the west and south remained dry. Hot and dry temperatures finished out the week statewide. Days suitable for fieldwork was 5.6 days, up from the previous week's 4.6 days. Topsoil moisture is 23% very short, 30% short, 46% adequate and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture is 15% very short, 28% short, 55% adequate and 2% surplus. Barley planted is 87% with 67% the five-year average. Barley emerged is 35% with 26% the five-year average. Corn planted is 7% with the five-year average 15%. Spring wheat planted is 67% with 47% the five-year average. Spring wheat emerged is 22% with the five-year average at 16%. Winter wheat pastured is 2%. Winter wheat jointed is 29% with 42% the five-year average. Winter wheat crop condition is 20% very poor to poor, 31% fair and 49% good to excellent.

Illinois

Producers were able to make significant progress planting corn and have started planting soybeans over the past week. There were 5.6 days suitable for fieldwork. Statewide, the average temperature was 53.3 degrees, 3.0 degrees below normal. Precipitation averaged 0.32 inch, 0.54 inch below normal. Topsoil moisture supply was rated at 3% very short, 11% short, 74% adequate and 12% surplus. Subsoil moisture supply was rated at 2% very short, 10% short, 79% adequate and 9% surplus. Corn planted was at 32%, compared to 59% last year and the five-year average of 40%. Soybeans planted was at 7%, 5 percentage points behind last year but 2 percentage points ahead of the five-year average. Winter wheat headed reached 5%, compared to 61% last year and the five-year average of 18%. Winter wheat condition was rated at 3% very poor, 6% poor, 32% fair, 49% good and 10% excellent.

Indiana

Warmer and drier weather across the state allowed for slight progress in corn and soybean planting. Statewide temperatures still remained below average, leaving soil temperature a concern and limiting fieldwork for some farmers. The average temperature for the week was 51.4 degrees, 3.8 degrees below normal for the state. The amounts of rainfall varied from zero to 1.09 inches over the week. There were 4.3 days available for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture is 0% very short, 6% short, 81% adequate and 13% surplus. Subsoil moisture is 0% very short, 5% short, 81% adequate and 14% surplus. Corn planted is 8% with 18% the five-year average. No corn was emerged with the five-year average of 3%. Soybeans planted is 3% with the five-year average of 4%. Winter wheat jointing is 55% with 57% being the five-year average. Winter wheat headed is 3% with 9% the five-year average. Winter wheat crop condition is 7% very poor to poor, 32% fair and 61% good to excellent.

Iowa

Iowa farmers made the most of the 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork. Corn and soybeans were planted in addition to soil preparation and fertilizer application. Topsoil moisture levels rated 4% very short, 15% short, 73% adequate and 8% surplus. Subsoil moisture levels rated 5% very short, 14% short, 73% adequate and 8% surplus. South central Iowa remains dry with over one-third of subsoil rated very short on moisture. Iowa farmers planted 17% of the expected corn crop during the past week, three days behind last year and four days behind the five-year average. Northern Iowa remains wet from melting snow, which has slowed planting progress. However, south-central and southeast Iowa farmers already have at least 40% of their corn planted. Soybean planting is underway with 2% of the expected crop in the ground, two days ahead of last year but equal to the average. Sixty-two percent of the expected oat crop has been planted, eight days behind both last year and the five-year average. Just 10% of the crop has emerged, almost two weeks behind last year.

Kansas

There were 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 27% very short, 32% short, 40% adequate and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies rated 27% very short, 38% short, 35% adequate and 0% surplus. Winter wheat condition rated 16% very poor, 34% poor, 37% fair, 12% good and 1% excellent. Winter wheat jointed was 52%, well behind 89% last year and 77% for the five-year average. Headed was 2%, well behind 41% last year and 24% average. Corn planted was 27%, behind 36% last year and 35% average. Emerged was 6%, behind 11% last year and 14% average. Soybeans planted was 2%, equal to both last year and average.

Michigan

There were 3.6 days suitable for fieldwork in Michigan last week. Warmer weather this week allowed producers to make good planting progress. In the upper part of the state, snow was still present on the ground, but with the warmer temperatures, the ground was slowly starting to warm up and the soil was drying out. A few producers began planting barley and corn. Oat planting made decent progress in comparison to last week, surpassing the previous year average, but progress still lagged behind the 5-year average. Sugarbeet planting was also underway, trailing far behind the previous year and five-year average. Winter wheat continued to green up, but development was slow in some areas due to the lack of warm days. Due to the warmer weather, producers were able to accomplish some various fieldwork activities. Other activities included removing brush, hauling manure, repairing machinery, spreading fertilizer, and performing some tillage operations. Winter Wheat condition was rated 72% good to excellent.

Minnesota

Warmer temperatures led to melting snow and resulted in 1.3 days suitable for fieldwork last week. Snow has melted in most fields with frost still working its way out of the ground. Farmers that were able to work in the fields were busy with field preparation, spreading fertilizer, rock picking and planting. Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 0% very short, 3% short, 64% adequate, and 33% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 0% very short, 3% short, 77% adequate, and 20% surplus. Cool temperatures, muddy fields, and frost in the ground have delayed planting of spring crops. Spring wheat planted was reported as 2% complete, compared with 20% last year, and the five-year average of 34%. Oats planted were reported as 3% complete, compared with 37% last year, and the average of 41%. Barley planted was reported as 1% complete, compared with 10% last year, and the average of 25%. Potatoes planted were reported as 2% complete, compared with 29% last year, and the average of 26%. Sugarbeets planted were reported as 10% complete, compared with 45% last year, and the average of 44%.

Missouri

Warmer temperatures and little precipitation for the week allowed planting to progress quickly. Though temperatures increased from the previous week, we are still below average, which is hindering crop progress and hay growth. Temperatures last week averaged 56.4 degrees, 2.4 degrees below normal. Precipitation averaged 0.73 inch statewide, 0.25 inch below normal. There were 5.2 days suitable for fieldwork. Topsoil moisture supply was rated 8% very short, 18% short, 66% adequate and 8% surplus. Subsoil moisture supply was rated 6% very short, 18% short, 69% adequate and 7% surplus. Corn planting progressed 36 percentage points to 52% complete, which is 1 percentage point ahead of the five-year average. Corn emerged progressed to 6%. Soybean planting was 5% complete. Rice planting progressed to 50% this week. Sorghum planting is at 2%, 11 percentage points behind last year. Winter wheat headed is at 4%, 69 percentage points behind last year and 23 percentage points behind the five-year average. Winter wheat condition was rated 49% good to excellent.

Nebraska

There were 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork in the state last week. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 4% very short, 22% short, 73% adequate and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 3% very short, 28% short, 68% adequate and 1% surplus. Corn planted was 17%, behind 32% last year and 24% for the five-year average. Soybeans planted was 6%, near 7% last year and 4% average. Winter wheat condition was rated 63% good to excellent. Oats planted was 63%, well behind 89% last year and 87% average. Emerged was 30%, well behind 54% last year and 57% average.

North Dakota

There were 3.2 days suitable for fieldwork last week. Reports indicated that, on average, producers intended to begin fieldwork on May 3. Topsoil moisture supplies rated 10% very short, 35% short, 51% adequate and 4% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 16% very short, 34% short, 48% adequate and 2% surplus. Spring wheat planted was 3%, behind 17% last year and 22% for the five-year average. Durum wheat planted was 1%, behind 12% last year and 8% average. Winter wheat condition was rated 26% good to excellent. Winter wheat jointed was 1%, behind 7% last year. Canola planted was 2%, near 3% last year and 6% average. Sugarbeets planted was 10%, well behind 31% last year and 38% average. Oats planted was 1%, behind 19% last year and 20% average. Barley planted was 1%, behind 12% last year and 17% average. Dry edible peas planted was 2%, behind 21% last year and 17% average.

Ohio

There was a flurry of field preparation last week in between scattered rain showers. There were 2.6 days suitable for fieldwork in Ohio during the week. Topsoil moisture was rated 68% adequate and 32% surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 66% adequate and 34% surplus. Corn planted was 1%, well behind the average of 15%. Soybeans planted were also 1%, behind the average of 4%. Winter wheat jointing was 34%, behind the average of 44%, and headed was 1%, near the average of 2%. Winter wheat condition was rated 74% good to excellent. Oats were 26% planted and 7% emerged.

Oklahoma

Last week, Oklahoma received enough rain to keep the drought conditions from worsening. But according to the OCS Mesonet, several rainfalls over a period of time are needed to eliminate the problem. Statewide, temperatures averaged in the high 50s. Precipitation ranged from 0.25 inch in the southeast to 0.65 inch in the west-central district. Topsoil moisture was rated 25% very short, 22% short, 51% adequate and 2% surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 40% very short, 14% short, 45% adequate and 1% surplus. Winter wheat jointing reached 86%, down 9 points from normal. Winter wheat headed reached 35%, down 25 points from normal. Winter wheat condition was rated only 9% good to excellent. Canola blooming reached 69%, down 23 points from normal. Canola coloring reached 11%, up 1 point from normal. Oats jointing reached 50%, down 4 points from normal. Sorghum planted reached 13%, down 2 points from normal. Soybeans planted reached 5%, down 1 point from normal. Cotton planted reached 6%, equal to the normal pace.

South Dakota

There were 2.6 days suitable for fieldwork in the state last week. Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 2% very short, 10% short, 80% adequate and 8% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 5% very short, 24% short, 68% adequate and 3% surplus. Winter wheat condition was rated 32% good to excellent. Spring wheat planted was 12%, well behind 83% last year and 63% for the five-year average. Oats planted was 7%, well behind 82% last year and 68% average. Emerged was 1%, well behind 47% last year and 32% average.

Texas

Hot, dry and windy conditions prevailed across most of the state last week. Precipitation in the Low Plains, Cross Timbers, Trans-Pecos, Edwards Plateau, south Texas and south-central Texas ranged from trace amounts to 1.5 inches, with isolated areas getting upwards of 2.5 inches of rain. Statewide, topsoil moisture was rated 31% very short, 36% short, 32% adequate and 1% surplus. Subsoil moisture was rated 26% very short, 38% short, 34% adequate and 2%. Corn was 70% planted, ahead of the average of 66%, while 50% was emerged, behind the average of 56%. Corn condition was rated 28% good to excellent. Cotton was 15% planted, ahead of the average of 13%. Rice was 77% planted and 69% emerged. Sorghum was 81% planted, well ahead of the average of 63%, and 5% of the crop was headed, also ahead of the average of 1%. Soybeans were 42% planted, near the average of 38%, and 18% of the crop was emerged, slightly ahead of the average of 15%. Winter wheat was 70% headed, ahead of the average pace of 62%. Wheat condition was rated 16% good to excellent.

Wisconsin

A week of sunny, dry and breezy conditions allowed farmers to take to the fields. Temperatures were near normal, with daytime highs reaching the 60s and 70s in many areas. Most of the state's snow cover had melted off by the weekend, even in areas where the snow pack had been thick. Reporters in some areas noted that fields were too wet to support machinery while, in others, soils soaked up the snowmelt and dried out quickly. Topsoil moisture supplies were rated 2% very short, 8% short, 76% adequate and 14% surplus. Subsoil moisture supplies were rated 2% very short, 8% short, 80% adequate and 10% surplus. Corn planting was 3% complete, five days behind the five-year average. One percent of the state's expected soybean acres have been planted. Oats planted were reported as 16% complete, eight days behind the five-year average. Oats emerged was at 3%, five days behind the five-year average. Winter wheat was rated 57% in good-to-excellent condition statewide, up 6 percentage points from the previous week.

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