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Wet, Cold Weather Slows Crop Progress

USDA reports corn planting is well behind the five-year average, even for Southern states.

Published on: Apr 22, 2013

USDA's Crop Progress Report released Monday afternoon shows that only 4% of the U.S. corn crop has been planted, well behind the five-year average of 16% by this time. Continued soggy weather - including winter storms that keep sweeping across some parts of the western Corn Belt, are keeping planters parked.

Even states that are traditionally ahead of the curve by now are behind. For example, Texas is 59% planted but that's behind the 62% five-year average. Only North Carolina is ahead of the average with 64% planted versus 59% on average.

The following key corn states show little or no activity. Illinois shows 1% vs. 24% in a normal year and well behind the 56% planted by this time in 2012. Indiana is also 1% planted but behind its 16% five-year average and farther behind the 43% average in 2012. Iowa planters haven't begun to roll, and by now in a normal year about 14% is planted; in 2012 Iowa ran behind with a wet spring and had only 8% planted by this time. Nebraska is also still waiting to plant with no acres reported in the ground versus 13% last year and a five-year average of 8%.

RARE SIGHT: Based on the latest USDA Crop Progress Report, planters in the field are few and far between so far this spring.
RARE SIGHT: Based on the latest USDA Crop Progress Report, planters in the field are few and far between so far this spring.

Cold soil temperatures along with continued rains are key concerns. More rain moving across key corn producing regions early this week will take their toll. There is talk of warmer weather by the end of the week, but there are a lot of variables (and lack of belief) that conditions will improve soon.

Cotton planting is running behind as well with only 10% in the ground versus a 14% five-year average. California and Arizona are well ahead of average with California at 60% planted and Arizona a 45% in the ground.

Georgia has 3% of its cotton in the ground, just shy of the 5% average by this time. However, Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia haven't hit the field yet. Each is well behind average. And wet weather remains in the forecast for this part of the country as well.

Rice planting is also behind with 33% planted versus 44% on average. Louisiana is ahead on rice planting, as is Missouri and Texas. However, Arkansas and Mississippi are pulling down the average.

Keep up with crop conditions and yield estimates on the Farm Futures Statistical Tables and Charts page.