Farmers Take Advantage of Short Break in Rains, But Corn Planting Only 49% Complete Nationwide

Farmers across the country took advantage of the short period of drier weather last week to make up for lost time in getting seed in the ground. But, as of Sunday, May 19, only about the half of the nation’s corn crop and less than a quarter of the soybean crop was planted, according to USDA NASS’ weekly Crop Progress report on Monday.

An estimated 49% of U.S. corn was planted as of Sunday, a jump of 19 percentage points from 30% the previous week, but still well behind 78% at the same time last year and 31 percentage points behind the five-year average of 80%. That was a slight improvement from last week’s report when corn planting was 36 percentage points behind the average pace.

“This is right in line with the 45-49% that many in the trade had expected on Monday,” said DTN Senior Analyst Dana Mantini. However, he noted that the 51% of the crop remaining to be planted is the highest percentage by far for this date, with the previous record 47% remaining.

Some notable states included: Illinois, where 24% of corn was planted versus the five-year average of 89%; Indiana, 14% planted versus an average of 73%; Iowa, 70% planted versus 89% average; Michigan, 19% planted versus 54% average; Minnesota, 56% planted compared to 83% average; Missouri, 62% planted versus an average of 92%; Nebraska, 70% planted versus an average of 86%; Ohio, 9% planted versus an average of 62%; South Dakota, 19% planted versus 76% average; and Wisconsin, 35% planted versus an average of 65%.

“This is clearly a bullish progress report on corn with 51% to be planted beyond Monday, May 20, which is a key date for yield loss going forward,” Mantini said.

Corn emergence continued to be sluggish with an estimated 19% of the crop emerged as of Sunday, behind 47% last year and 30 percentage points behind the five-year average of 49%. In last week’s report, emergence was 19 percentage points behind the average.

Soybean planting progress fell further behind its average pace. As of Sunday, an estimated 19% of the crop was planted, up 10 percentage points from the previous week, behind last year’s 53% and 28 percentage points behind the five-year average of 47%. In last week’s report, soybean planting was 20 percentage points behind average.

Meanwhile, spring wheat growers continued to close the gap between 2019 planting progress and the five-year average. NASS estimated that 70% of spring wheat was planted as of Sunday, 10 percentage points behind the five-year average of 80%. That was closer to the average pace than the previous week when planting was 22 percentage points behind normal.

Spring wheat emerged, at 26%, was 25 percentage points behind the five-year average of 51%.

Winter wheat was 54% headed as of Sunday, behind last year’s 59% and 12 percentage points behind the five-year average of 66%. USDA estimated that 66% of winter wheat was in good-to-excellent condition, up 2 percentage points from 64% the previous week.

Sorghum was 26% planted, compared to 38% last year and a five-year average of 38%. Oats were 77% planted as of May 19, compared to 84% last year and an average of 90%. Oats emerged were at 53%, compared to 64% last year and an average of 76%.

Cotton planting was 44% complete, compared to 50% last year and an average of 45%. Rice was 73% planted, compared to 92% last year and an average of 90%. Fifty-two percent of rice was emerged, compared to 72% last year and an average of 75%.

To view weekly crop progress reports issued by National Ag Statistics Service offices in individual states, visit…. Look for the U.S. map in the “Find Data and Reports by” section and choose the state you wish to view in the drop-down menu. Then look for that state’s “Crop Progress & Condition” report.

National Crop Progress Summary
This Last Last 5-Year
Week Week Year Avg.
Corn Planted 49 30 78 80
Corn Emerged 19 10 47 49
Soybeans Planted 19 9 53 47
Soybeans Emerged 5 NA 24 17
Winter Wheat Headed 54 42 59 66
Spring Wheat Planted 70 45 76 80
Spring Wheat Emerged 26 10 34 51
Cotton Planted 44 26 50 45
Sorghum Planted 26 24 38 38
Barley Planted 76 59 78 84
Barley Emerged 39 25 42 57
Oats Planted 77 62 84 90
Oats Emerged 53 43 64 76
Rice Planted 73 55 92 90
Rice Emerged 52 42 72 75


National Crop Condition Summary
(VP = Very Poor; P = Poor; F = Fair; G = Good; E = Excellent)
This Week Last Week Last Year
Winter Wheat 2 6 26 50 16 2 6 28 49 15 15 20 29 29 7


National Soil Moisture Condition – 48 States
(VS = Very Short; SH = Short; AD = Adequate; SR = Surplus)
This Week Last Week Last Year
Topsoil Moisture 1 7 61 31 1 6 59 34 8 17 64 11
Subsoil Moisture 1 6 64 29 1 6 63 30 7 21 64 8

Anthony Greder can be reached at

Follow him on Twitter @AGrederDTN

Source: Anthony Greder, DTN

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