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USDA crop progress: Corn planting pace closes the gap

Soybean plantings also make solid inroads this past week

Ben Potter, Senior editor

May 31, 2022

2 Min Read
Corn field with young corn.
Rachel Schutte

Corn and soybeans made some much-needed advancements this past week, per data from the latest USDA crop progress report, out Tuesday afternoon and covering the week through May 29. Corn plantings are now just one point behind the prior five-year average, despite getting off to one of the earliest starts of the decade earlier this spring. Soybeans are also just one point behind the prior five-year average, despite still being significantly slower than last year’s pace.

Corn plantings reached 86% through Sunday, up from 72% a week ago and slightly better than the average trade guess of 85%. That’s still eight points behind 2021’s pace of 94% but just a point below the prior five-year average of 87%. And 61% of the crop is now emerged, up from 39% a week ago and seven points short of the prior five-year average of 68%.

Two-thirds (66%) of this year’s soybean crop is now in the ground, up from 50% last week and just below the average trade guess of 67%. It’s also behind 2021’s pace of 83% and the prior five-year average of 67%. Nearly four of every 10 soybean acres (39%) are now emerged, up from 21% a week ago and remaining below both 2021’s pace of 59% and the prior five-year average of 43%.

Southern row crop planting progress also continues to march forward, including:

  • Cotton at 68% (up from 54% a week ago)

  • Rice at 95% (up from 91% a week ago)

  • Peanuts at 79% (up from 65% a week ago)

Spring wheat plantings made it to 73% through Sunday, up from 49% last week and much better than the average trade guess of 67%. Four of the top six production states are virtually complete, while Minnesota (53%) and North Dakota (59%) still have a ways to go. And 42% of the crop is now emerged, versus 29% a week ago.

Winter wheat quality ratings improved a point, as expected, with 29% of the crop in good-to-excellent condition through May 29. Another 31% is rated fair (down a point from last week), with the remaining 40% rated poor or very poor (steady from last week).

Physiologically, 72% of the crop is now headed, up from 63% last week. That’s a few points short of 2021’s pace of 77% and the prior five-year average of 76%.

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

About the Author(s)

Ben Potter

Senior editor, Farm Futures

Senior Editor Ben Potter brings two decades of professional agricultural communications and journalism experience to Farm Futures. He began working in the industry in the highly specific world of southern row crop production. Since that time, he has expanded his knowledge to cover a broad range of topics relevant to agriculture, including agronomy, machinery, technology, business, marketing, politics and weather. He has won several writing awards from the American Agricultural Editors Association, most recently on two features about drones and farmers who operate distilleries as a side business. Ben is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

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