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Crop progress: Corn plantings fall below five-year average

Soybean plantings up to 35% in the week through May 12.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

May 13, 2024

2 Min Read
Up close view of John Deere planter closing wheel
Getty Images/JJ Gouin

Last spring, helpful weather conditions helped farmers plant the 2023 corn crop a bit faster than usual. But the pendulum has swung in the other direction in 2024 with plenty of rain causing some delays. This year’s pace is currently five points behind the prior five-year average and 11 points lower year-over-year. In contrast, soybean plantings are still slightly ahead of the prior five-year average.

Corn plantings moved from 36% a week ago up to 49% through Sunday. That mirrored the average analyst estimate, with individual trade guesses ranging between 44% and 53%. Still, plantings are well below 2023’s pace of 60% and moderately behind the prior five-year average of 54%.

Corn emergence improved from 12% last week up to 23% through Sunday. That’s slightly below 2023’s pace of 25% and slightly ahead of the prior five-year average of 21%.

Soybean plantings moved from 25% completion a week ago up to 35% through Sunday. Analysts were generally expecting to see a swifter pace after offering an average trade guess of 39%. That puts this year’s pace significantly below 2023’s mark of 45% but still slightly above the prior five-year average of 34%.

Soybean emergence reached 16%, up from 9% a week ago. 2023’s pace was slightly faster, at 17%, while the prior five-year average is only at 10%.

Planting progress for some southern row crops continues to move forward, meantime, including:

  • Cotton = 33% (up from 24% last week)

  • Rice = 84% (up from 78% last week)

  • Peanuts = 40% (up from 22% last week)

Winter wheat quality ratings saw some shifts this past week. The amount of the crop rated in good-to-excellent condition held steady, at 50%, while analysts were expecting to see a one-point improvement. Another 32% is rated fair (down two points from last week), with the remaining 18% rated poor or very poor (up two points from last week).

Physiologically, 57% of the crop is now headed, up from 43% last week. That puts the current crop well ahead of 2023’s pace of 46% and the prior five-year average of 44%.

Spring wheat plantings moved from 47% a week ago up to 61% through May 12. Analysts were expecting a bit more progress after offering an average trade guess of 63%. This spring’s pace is noticeably above 2023’s pace of 35% and the prior five-year average of 48%.

Click here for more data from the latest UDSA crop progress report, including other regional crop planting updates, plus a state-by-state look at topsoil moisture, days suitable for fieldwork and more.

Read more about:

Crop Progress

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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