USDA Weekly Crop Progress Report - Corn Planting Progress Jumps 29 Percentage Points

OMAHA (DTN) -- After trailing the five-year average pace the previous week, corn planting jumped back to well ahead of normal last week as farmers took advantage of the much warmer weather to return to fieldwork with a vengeance, according to USDA NASS' weekly Crop Progress report released Monday.

Corn planting progress jumped a whopping 29 percentage points last week to reach 46% complete as of Sunday, May 2. That is slightly behind last year's pace at the same time of 48% but is 10 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 36%. It's also a significant turnaround from last Monday's report when corn planting was 3 percentage points behind average.

"Iowa corn is 69% planted, Minnesota is at 60% and Illinois is at 54%," said DTN Lead Analyst Todd Hultman. "It is the sixth-fastest planting pace in the past 12 years."

Meanwhile, corn emergence continued to run slightly behind normal, at 8% as of Sunday compared to the five-year average of 9%.

The warmer weather last week also allowed soybean planting to accelerate. NASS estimated that 24% of the crop was planted as of Sunday, up 16 percentage points from the previous week and 13 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 11%. In last week's report, soybean planting was 3 percentage points ahead of average.

"Nationwide, soybean planting is off to the fastest start in at least 12 years," Hultman said. "Iowa soybeans are 43% planted, and Illinois is at 41%."

Spring wheat planting also remained well ahead of normal last week, at 49% complete as of Sunday, 17 percentage points ahead of the five-year average of 32%. Spring wheat emerged was estimated at 14%, also ahead of the five-year average of 10%.

"North Dakota, last year's largest spring wheat producer, is 42% planted," Hultman said.

Development of winter wheat, on the other hand, continued to trail the normal pace. Winter wheat heading was estimated at 27% as of Sunday, 7 percentage points behind the five-year average of 34%.

Winter wheat condition fell again slightly to 48% good to excellent as of Sunday, down 1 percentage point from 49% the previous week and below last year's rating of 55%.

"The latest rating is roughly in the middle of where winter wheat crop ratings have fallen the past 12 years," Hultman said. "Fifty-five percent of the wheat crop in Kansas is rated good to excellent, the same as a week ago."

Sorghum was 20% planted, up just 1 percentage point from the previous week. Cotton planting was 16% complete, equal to the five-year average. Rice was 64% planted, and 38% of the crop had emerged.

Oats were 72% planted as of Sunday, and emergence was at 47%.

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