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Corn Planting Stays Ahead of Schedule

Actually corn, cotton and soybeans remain on track to beat the five-year average despite pockets of wet weather.

Published on: May 8, 2012

Add it up and while 2012 may not set a record pace, there's no doubt it's above average - way above average. For the week ending May 4, more than 71% of the corn has been planted in the states representing 92% of all 2011 corn acreage. Planting in Iowa has slowed, from the dramatic pace just the week before, yet still remains above average with 64% in the ground. Illinois and Indiana are making significant progress too.

Across the board the key corn states are beating their five-year averages, but for some the pace is slower. For example, Wisconsin is 34% planted versus a 30% five-year average. For the 18 key corn states, 71% is planted versus a five-year average of 47% by this time. Unseasonably warm weather has had planters rolling hard for three weeks.

Corn Planting Stays Ahead of Schedule
Corn Planting Stays Ahead of Schedule

As for emergence, it makes sense that early planted corn would be beating the emergence average too. About 32% of the corn crop is out of the ground, more than twice the five-year average of 13%.

Soybeans are in the planters now too as acreage of the oilseed starts to rise. Mississippi leads with 74% of its soybean crop in the ground, but Louisiana isn't far behind at 62%. Indiana is a top Midwestern soybean producer making quick work of planting this year with nearly half its soybeans in the ground already, nearly five times the five-year average.

And about 7% of the soybean crop has already emerged, which is more than twice as fast as average. Those warmer Southern states are setting the pace for emergence.

For cotton, about 36% of the acreage is planted, running ahead of the 28% five-year average. California, Arkansas and Arizona are all leading the way with seed in the ground. North Carolina is the only state that's statistically close to the five year average, every other cotton producing state is running ahead of the five-year average.

As for peanuts, the pace is about double the average as Florida, Georgia, Alabama and Oklahoma are all pushing their planting pace. For the eight key peanut producing states, USDA is reporting 30% of the crop is in the ground versus 14% on average.

Winter wheat is heading out ahead of schedule too, which has caused some worries with wet and cold weather hitting the crop. On average 63% of the crop is headed, nearly double the normal rate. Kansas leads the way, and after last week's wheat tour, where the state saw a potential 46% increase in wheat output, 92% of the crop is heading. Already, combines are rolling in south Texas into Oklahoma, one of the earliest harvest years in recent memory.

Spring wheat planting hit 84% in the last week with South Dakota reporting completion with Minnesota right behind. And for that crop, 47% has emerged.

Rice planting and emergence are running ahead of schedule too with 77% planted and 67% of the crop emerged.

And sugarbeet planters have been rolling full out - even North Dakota has 96% of its crop planted by last Friday. Michigan beats that reporting 100% planted.