USDA crop progress: Turning the corner

Getty/iStockphoto A low aerial view of a tractor planting a Spring cornfield. Focus is on the foreground soil, the tractor and planter are slightly soft. The tanks on the planter hold liquid fertilizer which is applied to the seed row.
Corn and soybean plantings make significant inroads for the second consecutive week

Some rainy weather this past week kept some planters rolling last week, but all things considered, progress was better than expected for both corn and soybeans, according to the latest data from USDA, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through May 22. Soybean plantings reached the halfway mark, while more than seven out of every 10 corn acres are now in the ground. Winter wheat quality ratings improved slightly but remain dismal overall.

Corn plantings are 72% complete through Sunday, up from 49% a week ago and four points above the average trade guess of 68%. However, this year’s progress is still markedly slower than 2021’s pace of 89% and the prior five-year average of 79%. North Carolina (97%), Tennessee (93%) and Texas (92%) continue to lead the charge, while North Dakota (20%) still has the farthest to go.

Corn emergence moved to 39%, up from 14% a week ago but still substantially behind 2021’s pace of 61% and the prior five-year average of 51%. North Dakota (1%) and Ohio (6%) are still only seeing single-digit progress in this physiological category.

Soybean plantings reached 50% through Sunday, up from 30% a week ago and slightly besting the average trade guess of 49%. That still puts this year’s crop well below 2021’s pace of 73% and five points below the prior five-year average of 55%. Twenty-one percent of the crop is now emerged, up from 9% a week ago. Last year’s pace was much more swift, at 38%, and the prior five-year average is 26%.

Spring wheat plantings made it to 49%, up from 39% a week ago. That was well below the average trade guess of 56%. It’s also well below 2021’s pace of 93% and the prior five-year average of 83%. Among the top six production states, Minnesota (11%) and North Dakota (27%) are trending significantly below the national average.

Winter wheat quality ratings improved a point and matched analyst expectations with 28% of the crop rated in good-to-excellent condition, making it among the worst on record. Another 32% of the crop is rated fair (unchanged from a week ago), with the remaining 40% rated poor or very poor (down a point from last week).

Physiologically, 63% of the crop is headed, versus week-ago results of 48%. That also puts it two points behind both 2021’s pace and the prior five-year average.

Click here to learn more about today’s USDA crop progress report, including the agency’s observations on days suitable for fieldwork and topsoil moisture conditions.

TAGS: Planting
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