Despite continued wet weather in some parts of the country, corn planters put in some over-time last week according to USDA’s Crop Progress Report released late Monday afternoon. As of Sunday’s reporting deadline, the top 18 corn-producing states had 79 percent of the crop planted, up from 63 percent planted last week. And that which is planted has begun to emerge. The report notes that 45 percent of the planted crop has emerged, up from 21 percent the week before.

North Dakota made one of the biggest strides found in the report, going from 14 percent of the state’s corn planted last week to 49 percent planted by the beginning of this week. However, that percentage is down considerably from North Dakota’s 5-year average of 77 percent. Ohio is still plagued by wet fields, and as a result, only 11 percent of that state’s corn is reported to be planted. That’s only a slight increase from last week’s 7 percent, and a serious deficit from Ohio’s five-year-average of 80 percent.

The market is watching this progress closely, with analysts expressing concern over areas that are behind.

Still, more than half of the states were above the national average. Five states – Iowa (98 percent), Kansas (93 percent), Nebraska (94 percent), North Carolina (99 percent) and Texas (97 percent) – were above last year’s national average of 92 percent. Kansas, Missouri (88 percent) and Texas improved at least one percentage point from their state’s 2010 pace.

Overall, U.S. corn planting is only 8 percentage points off the 5-year average.

Soybean plantings also made progress last week. The top 18 soybean-producing states reported that 41 percent of the crop is in the ground, up significantly from last week’s 21 percent level. Ohio continues to struggle with this crop, too, with farmers there only getting 4 percent of soybeans planted so far.

Meanwhile, according to the latest Weekly Hay Market Demand and Price Report for the Upper Midwest compiled by the University of Wisconsin:

  • First cutting in South Dakota should start as soon as the current rainy spell moves out of the area.
  • Cool, damp weather in Missouri last week hampered any progress for any farmers wanting to either cut hay or plant crops.
  • Drier weather returned to Wisconsin, improving conditions for summer crop planting after several weeks of surplus wetness. Growth of winter wheat and alfalfa has shown more signs of winterkill.  Reports indicated that older stands suffered more than new stands, but overall, winter wheat and alfalfa are looking good.

Crop reports from Michigan State University extension personnel also note that while alfalfa fields look great and has excellent quality, harvesting the crop may be a challenge due to wet weather.