Farmers across the U.S. nearly doubled the amount of corn planted in the last week, moving the marker up from 28% a week ago to 53% planted at the start of this week. Both are ahead of the 12% last year and the 27% five year average for the current week. Those are for the 18 states that produce 92% of the corn. However, when Cornbelt states are identified, the average drops back to 48% planted because the loss of KY (86%), NC (89%), and TN (93%) are dropped out. Nevertheless, progress toward a long growing season is still being made.
The USDA’s weekly crop progress report provides some amazing data on the progress of the 2012 planting season. For example, OH farmers had planted only 1% of their corn crop by April 29 of 2011, but by that date this year, 57% of the corn had been planted. While only 6% of it had emerged, it represents a significant change of crop potential and reduced psychological stress for farmers in OH.
IL farmers remain the Cornbelt leader with 79% of the corn planted, followed closely by 75% in MO. IL is ahead of TX where 70% of the crop is planted. However, weather has likely paused planting progress in TX, which only moved from 65% planted last week to 70% this week. In IL the 79% planted compared to 59% last week. And while only 34% of the IL corn has emerged, the TX crop will be typically earlier, since it is already at 53% emerged. However that is behind the 62% emerged for TX at this time averaged over the past 5 years.
When planting progress is examined the nod goes to IA farmers who shifted into high gear in the past week and moved from 9% planted to 50% planted. When considered with the amount of intended corn acres in IA this year that means IA farmers planted 5.986 million acres of corn in the past week. Compared to neighboring IA, IL planted 20% of its intended corn acres, 37% for MN, 30% for NE, and 25% for MO and KS.
Soybean planting, of course is well behind, but compared to the 5 year average is slightly ahead for the 18 states that produced 95% of the US soybean crop in 2011. For the Cornbelt, only 8% of the soybean crop is planted, compared to 12% nationally. Southern states have set the curve with 40-60% planted.
Leading the Cornbelt is IN at 28%, followed by OH at 16% planted and IL at 13% planted. During the past week, IN farmers planted 867,000 acres of beans. While IN is more than one-quarter planted, that compares to no soybeans planted at this time last year, and only 4% for the five year average.