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Fast Wheat, Corn Planting Pace Continues

Corn and soybean ground is getting plenty of attention as farmers take advantage of a warm spring.

Published on: May 1, 2012

The USDA Crop Progress report shows that planters aren't wasting any time. From corn, to cotton to soybeans to spring wheat, the machinery is on the move.

For King Corn, Iowa farmers were stellar performers moving the "planted" needle from 9% on the dial last week to 50% this week - that now puts Iowa ahead of its 32% five-year planted average for April 29. Other states that had week-over-week jumps included Minnesota from 11% to 48%; Nebraska from 14% to 44%; and South Dakota from 8% to 31%. For the 18 key states that planted 92% of corn acreage last year, total corn planted topped 53%, running well above the 27% average.

Fast Planting Pace Continues
Fast Planting Pace Continues

For soybean growers, the acres are starting to pile up too. Illinois doubled soybean acres planted from 5% to 13%, Indiana moved from 11% to 28%; Kentucky from 7% to 18%, and Ohio jumped from 7% to 16% planted. But corn planting delays in Iowa, Minnesota and elsewhere kept planters devoted to corn for now. Overall, the 18 key soybean planting states are at 12% planted versus a 5% 5-year average.

Cotton planting is running ahead of schedule too, with all but North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia beating their five-year averages. Drought-solving rains in some parts of the region are probably bringing a welcome delay to planting, but overall the key cotton states are 26% planted versus a 19% 5-year average.

As for spring wheat planting? The records continue. Every one of the six spring wheat producing states is well ahead of the 5-year average and so far 74% of the crop is planted in those states versus 32% for the average. In fact South Dakota shows 97% completed with Minnesota right behind at 93%. And emergence is ahead of schedule too with 30% emerged for the six key states versus 8% in a normal year.