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Crop progress: Corn plantings take big step forward

Soybean plantings reach 18% in the week through April 29.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

April 29, 2024

2 Min Read
Planter in field
Getty Images/Kostic_Dusan_Vuk

USDA’s latest set of crop progress data, out Monday afternoon and covering the week through April 29, showed plenty of additional numbers for traders to digest, including planting updates for corn, soybeans, spring wheat and more. USDA also docked winter wheat quality ratings by another point, which analysts were anticipating.

Corn plantings moved from 12% completion a week ago up to 27% through Sunday, mirroring trade expectations. Texas (71%), North Carolina (70%) and Missouri (63%) are the leaders among the top 18 production states so far. This season’s crop is getting planted faster than both 2023’s pace of 23% and the prior five-year average of 22%.

Emergence has reached 7% completion through Sunday, up from 3% last week. That’s also favorable to 2023’s pace of 5% and the prior five-year average of 4%.

Soybean plantings reached 18% through April 29, up from 8% in the prior week and slightly ahead of the average trade guess of 17%. Arkansas (56%), Mississippi (52%) and Louisiana (49%) lead the way among the top 18 production states so far. As with corn, this season’s crop is getting planted faster than both 2023’s pace of 16% and the prior five-year average of 10%.

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

  • Cotton = 15% (up from 11% last week)

  • Rice = 72% (up from 59% last week)

  • Peanuts = 9% (up from 3% last week)

Winter wheat quality ratings eased a point lower last week, with 49% of the crop now rated in good-to-excellent condition. That matched analyst expectations. Another 35% of the crop is rated fair (up one point from last week), with the remaining 16% rated poor or very poor (unchanged from last week).

Physiologically, 30% of the crop is now headed, up from 17% a week ago and noticeably above 2023’s pace of 23% and the prior five-year average of 21%.

Spring wheat plantings moved to 34% through April 29, up from 15% a week earlier. That’s substantially ahead of 2023’s pace of 10% and the prior five-year average of 19%. And 5% of the crop is now emerged, up from 2% a week ago and consistent with the prior five-year average.

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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