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Crop progress: Only a few acres to go

Corn and soybean plantings take another step closer to the finish line.

Ben Potter, Senior editor

May 30, 2023

2 Min Read
Young emerged soybeans
Getty Images

USDA’s new set of crop progress data, out Tuesday afternoon and covering the week through May 28, showed 2023 corn plantings are nearly complete, and soybean plantings aren’t far behind. Both crops are coming in more quickly than their respective prior five-year averages. USDA also served up its first corn quality ratings of the season, updated its winter wheat quality ratings and much more.

Corn plantings reached 92% through Sunday, mirroring analyst expectations and improving from last week’s mark of 81%. It’s also eight points ahead of both 2022’s pace and the prior five-year average of 84%. Seventy-two percent of the crop is now emerged, up from 52% a week earlier.

USDA also began to report corn quality ratings this week. The agency puts 69% of the crop in good-to-excellent condition, with another 26% rated fair and just 5% rated poor or very poor. Wisconsin is leading the way so far among the top 18 production states, with 82% of its corn rated in good-to-excellent condition so far.

Soybean plantings moved from 66% a week ago up to 83%, leaving it slightly ahead of the average trade guess of 82%. It’s also significantly higher than 2022’s pace of 64% and the prior five-year average of 65%. Emergence reached 56%, up from 36% last week.

Other regional crops continued to make planting progress last week, including:

  • Cotton – 60% (up from 45% last week)

  • Sorghum – 42% (up from 33% last week)

  • Rice – 95% (up from 90% last week)

  • Peanuts – 72% (up from 55% last week)

  • Sunflowers – 28% (up from 5% last week)

Winter wheat quality ratings found a three-point improvement last week, with 34% of the crop now in good-to-excellent condition. That was more generous than the average trade guess, which assumed a one-point improvement would happen this week. Another 31% of the crop is rated fair (up two points from last week), with the remaining 35% rated poor or very poor (down five points from last week).

Physiologically, 72% of the crop is now headed, up from 61% a week ago. That leaves this year’s progress very close to 2022’s pace of 71% and the prior five-year average of 73%.

Spring wheat plantings moved from 64% a week ago up to 85% through May 28. That’s much faster than 2022’s pace of 70% but just behind the prior five-year average of 86%. More than half (57%) of this season’s crop is now emerged, up from 32% a week earlier and two points behind the prior five-year average of 59%.

Click here to read more highlights from the latest UDSA crop progress report.

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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