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Crop progress: Corn plantings near the finish line

Soybean plantings progressed faster than expected last week.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

May 28, 2024

2 Min Read
Planter in field
Getty Images/Kostic Dusan Vuk

USDA’s latest set of crop progress data, out Tuesday afternoon and covering the week through May 26, held a variety of data for traders to digest. Corn and soybean plantings continued to creep towards the finish line, while more than three-fourths of this season’s winter wheat crop is now headed and nearing harvest. Meantime, winter wheat quality ratings shifted a point lower, bucking analyst expectations.

Corn plantings moved from 70% a week ago up to 83% through Sunday, mirroring analyst expectations. That puts this season’s pace moderately below 2023’s mark of 89% and slightly ahead of the prior five-year average of 82%. North Carolina is the first among the top 18 production states to reach 100% completion, with Texas (92%) and Nebraska (91%) following close behind.

More than half (58%) of this season’s corn crop is now emerged, up from 40% a week ago. That’s moderately behind 2023’s pace of 66% but matches the prior five-year average.

Soybean plantings moved from 52% a week ago up to 68% as of May 26. That’s noticeably below 2023’s pace of 78% but still five points better than the prior five-year average of 63%. Mississippi (92%) and Arkansas (88%) are leading the way among the top 18 production states so far.

Soybean emergence improved from 26% last week up to 39% through Sunday. That’s moderately below 2023’s pace of 50% but still modestly ahead of the prior five-year average of 36%.

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

  • Cotton = 59% (up from 44% last week)

  • Rice = 96% (up from 92% last week)

  • Peanuts = 67% (up from 54% last week)

Winter wheat quality ratings shifted one point lower last week, with 48% of the crop in good-to-excellent condition through May 26. Analysts were expecting ratings to hold steady this past week. Another 33% of the crop is rated fair (unchanged from last week), with the remaining 19% rated poor or very poor (up one point from last week).

Physiologically, 77% of the crop is now headed, compared to 69% in the prior week. That leaves this season’s crop trending ahead of 2023’s pace of 69% and the prior five-year average of 69%.

Spring wheat plantings progressed from 79% a week ago up to 88% through Sunday. That’s faster than both 2023’s pace of 79% and the prior five-year average of 81%.

Click here for more data from the latest USDA 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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