After making rapid progress planting corn in the first week of May, activity sputtered in the second after rains returned to the Midwest. While more growers in the central Corn Belt said they’re done, those in northern states continue to be plagued by poor conditions for fieldwork.
Farmers in Wisconsin were “tearing up fields” just to be able to spread manure, according to a grower there with nothing in the ground. “Nothing will move again until May 16th with the rains this week.”
A producer in Minnesota was in the same boat. “We need two weeks of warm dry weather,” was the judgement.
Even a farmer in Michigan with 40% of corn planted wasn’t encouraged: “What corn we have planted so far was done in much too wet conditions.”
Farmers reporting recently said they’re around 51% planted on corn. That would be up only 12% from last week’s USDA estimate, which was just 5% from the five-year average of 44%. Most years farmers have planted around 70% of their crop by now.
Soybeans are going in at a fairly normal pace. USDA said 15% of the crop was planted last week, 2% faster than normal. Farmers reporting Feedback estimates were around the average for this week of 26%.
While too much rain was the problem in some areas, in other parts of the growing region fields are getting dry. A producer in South Dakota who needed moisture likely got some over the weekend from storms: “An inch rain would be great, anything to activate pre-emerge herbicide.”
But another producer southeast of Indianapolis got only part of his wish as rains were light: “Getting dry the ground getting hard,” he wrote ahead of the storms. “Could use more but a slow pace so to absorb, not run off.”
What’s happening out your way? Click this Feedback From The Field link to rate crops in your area and provide planting progress and comments about your fields. We’ll update reports frequently with the interactive map below that lets you see what other growers are saying around the country. Click the box in the upper left-hand corner to bring up the weekly index; scroll down to see the most current week.
Follow along with the season here:
Feedback From the Field - May 7, 2018 - Growers make rapid planting progress outside the far north.
Feedback From the Field - May 2, 2018 - Some growers welcome this week’s rains.
Feedback From The Field - April 30, 2018 - More growers get into the field over the weekend.
Feedback From The Field - April 23, 2018 - April ending with cold, wet conditions stalling planting.
Feedback From The Field - April 19, 2018 - Rain, snow, fires and mud – this spring has it all.
Feedback From The Field - April 18, 2018 - Welcome to springtime in the Midwest.
Feedback From The Field - April 16, 2018 - Interactive tool helps growers share conditions.