(Posted Mon. May 19th, 2014)
Corn farmers continued steady planting progress last week, increasing planted corn acreage by 14 percentage points, according to a report released today by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. As of May 18, 73 percent of the nation’s corn crop has been planted, compared to 59 percent a week ago and 29 percent the week prior. While progress surpassed the five-year average in many Corn Belt states, planting delays in the north caused overall planting progress to fall three points behind.
“It has been a cold, long winter for many farmers in the northernmost states, and it’s still having a marked impact on planting progress there,” said NCGA President Martin Barbre. “It is important to keep in mind though the favorable conditions in many states that have allowed farmers to work tirelessly for two weeks now, getting a crop in the ground. Now, so many see their labors begin to come to fruition with emergence. A long summer still lies ahead, but farmers across the country remain hopeful for a bountiful harvest this fall.”
The most severe planting delays were seen in North Dakota and Michigan, which lagged 37 and 36 percentage points behind the five-year average. Minnesota and Wisconsin also saw 20-plus percentage point delays. At the same time, many states’ progress exceeded the five-year average with Missouri and Indiana surpassing that mark by 15 and 10 percentage points respectively.
Corn emergence continued to trail the five-year average, with 34 percent of corn acres emerged nationally as of May 18. This trails the five-year average by eight percentage points. Corn acres emerged surged in Missouri and Illinois last week, now surpassing the five-year average by 18 and 15 points respectively. Further north, progress again lagged with Minnesota furthest behind the five-year with a 34 point gap.