USDA Weekly Crop Progress Report - Corn 80% Planted; Soybeans 53% Planted

OMAHA (DTN) -- U.S. farmers maintained their faster-than-normal corn and soybean planting pace last week, USDA NASS said in its weekly Crop Progress report on Monday.

NASS estimated that 80% of the nation's intended corn crop was planted as of Sunday, May 17, a gain of 13 percentage points from the previous week. That was 36 percentage points ahead of last year at the same time and 9 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 71%.

"Iowa led the way at 96% complete, followed by Minnesota at 95%," said DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman. "North Dakota and Pennsylvania showed the only obvious problems, at 20% and 15% planted, respectively."

Forty-three percent of corn was emerged, 27 percentage points ahead of last year and 3 percentage points ahead of the average pace of 40%.

Soybean planting moved ahead another 15 percentage points to reach 53% complete as of Sunday. That was 37 percentage points ahead of 16% last year and 15 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 38%.

"Again, Iowa was the planting leader at 86% finished," Hultman said. "Among major soybean-producing states, Nebraska was second at 78% and Minnesota was third at 74%. This year's problem child, North Dakota, was 9% planted."

Soybean emergence was estimated at 18% as of Sunday, ahead of both last year's 4% and the five-year average of 12%.

Spring wheat planting continued to lag behind normal. NASS estimated that 60% of the crop was planted as of Sunday, falling behind both last year's progress of 63% and the five-year average of 80%. North Dakota spring wheat was only 41% planted, down from its five-year average of 76%, Hultman noted.

Thirty percent of the spring wheat crop had emerged, ahead of 21% last year but behind the five-year average of 46%.

Meanwhile, winter wheat condition dropped for a second week in a row. NASS estimated that 52% of the nation's winter wheat was rated in good-to-excellent condition as of Sunday, down 1 percentage point from 53% the previous week. The current good-to-excellent rating is down from 66% a year ago.

"States with high poor-to-very-poor ratings included Colorado at 44%, Kansas at 23%, Oregon at 22% and Texas at 18%," Hultman said. "For the U.S., the current winter wheat poor-to-very-poor rating of 16% is twice the amount of last year's 8% for this time."

Winter wheat was 56% headed as of Sunday, ahead of 51% last year but behind the five-year average of 62%.

Sorghum was 32% planted, ahead of 25% last year but behind the five-year average of 34%. Oats were 86% planted, compared to 73% last year and an average of 87%. Oats emergence was at 69%, compared to 50% last year and a 70% average. Barley was 72% planted, ahead of 71% last year, but behind the five-year average of 82%.

Cotton planting was 44% complete, compared to 39% last year and a 40% average. Rice was 81% planted, ahead of 68% last year but behind the average of 84%. Rice emerged was 57%, behind the average of 68%. Rice was rated 63% in good-to-excellent condition.

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