Market News & Headlines >> Corn Planting Off to Fast Start

Some 13% of the U.S. corn crop had already been planted by Sunday, ahead of last year’s pace of 7% and the five-year average of 8%, according to Monday afternoon’s weekly crop update from USDA. 

The planting pace was the fourth fastest on record for April 17, but was in line with trade expectations, which averaged 14% in a range from 11%-18%, according to a Reuters News Service survey. 

Planting is especially off to a fast start in the western half of the Corn Belt, with both Iowa and Minnesota producers having planted 13% of their crops already versus a five-year average pace of 3% for both states. In Missouri, meanwhile, 58% of the crop was already in the ground versus the average of just 21% and only 7% a year earlier. 

Progress has been slower to the East, where conditions have been wetter. Illinois producers had planted 12% of their crop, close to the average of 14%, but only 1% of the Indiana crop was reported planted against an average of 7% and no planting progress was reported in Ohio, versus an average of 4%. 

Soil moisture conditions are very favorable for planting across much of the top corn producing state of Iowa, with topsoil moisture rated adequate/surplus across 76% of the state and subsoil moisture rated adequate/surplus across 96% of the state. In No. 2 corn producer Illinois, soil moisture is rated adequate/surplus across 95% of the state.