May 10, 2021
Weather was cooperative enough this past week to help push the pace for both corn and soybean plantings according to the latest report from USDA, released Monday afternoon. Corn surpassed another milestone, reaching the two-thirds mark on the 2021 planting season, and more than 4 of every 10 soybean acres are now in the ground for the week ending May 9.
Corn plantings reached 67% completion through Sunday, up from 46% a week ago and in line with analyst expectations. This year’s pace is slightly faster than 2020’s pace of 65% and well above the prior five-year average of 52%.
And 20% of the crop is now emerged, up from last week’s mark of 8% and slightly ahead of the prior five-year average of 19%. There’s still plenty of variability in this category. Eight of the top 18 production states have only made single-digit progress so far, while three states – North Carolina (77%), Texas (58%) and Tennessee (52%) – have more than half of their crops emerged at this time.
Soybean planting progress moved to 42% through Sunday, which was two points above the average trade guess and well above the prior week’s pace of 24%. Farmers are also planting much faster than 2020’s pace of 36% and the prior five-year average of 22%.
Soybean emergence is at 10% among the top 18 production states, getting there faster than 2020’s pace of 6% and the prior five-year average of 4%. Mississippi (50%) is the farthest along in this maturity category so far.
Spring wheat plantings jumped from 49% a week ago up to 70% through Sunday. That’s much faster than both 2020’s pace of 40% and the prior five-year average of 51%. Twenty-nine percent of the crop is now emerged, up from the prior five-year average of 20%.
The 2020/21 winter wheat crop is shifting slowly closer to harvest, with 38% of the crop now at the heading stage. That’s moderately behind 2020’s pace of 42% and the prior five-year average of 46%.
Quality ratings moved a point higher, with 49% of the crop in good-to-excellent condition. Analysts thought USDA would hold ratings steady this past week. Another 33% of the crop is rated fair (unchanged from last week), with the remaining 18% rated poor or very poor (down a point from last week).
Click here to read the latest USDA crop progress report in its entirety.
Missed an earlier report? Check out our weekly crop report coverage:
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About the Author(s)
Senior editor, Farm Futures
Senior Editor Ben Potter brings more than 14 years 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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